Category Archives: general

Honeymoon Packing List Part 2: Clothes

I tried out the capsule wardrobe ideas on this trip and it worked really well. Generally built off neutrals, but with bright colors peppered throughout (couldn’t pick just one!). I took my favorite clothing pieces and saw how many ways you could mix and match them. I loved every outfit! Definitely provided necessary fuel for continuing to clean out the closet and pare down the wardrobe.


Plane outfit (heaviest items): skinny jeans, ankle boots, long sleeve shirt, black sweatshirt wrap, trench coat, Smartwool socks

  • 6 Basic Tops (sadly, I haven’t found a great top at Gap in years and all of those are at least four years old BUT clearly they used to be good to me because these are all still favorites)
    • bright pink three-quarter sleeve shirt
    • taupe pleated short sleeve shirt
    • black pleated short sleeve shirt
    • light green three-quarter sleeve shirt
    • navy scoop neck tee shirt
    • purple long sleeve shirt from Loft
  • 2 Printed Tops
  • 4 Bottoms:
  • One black XGen dress (similar): the most versatile piece of clothing I own. I’ve had it since I was 10 (yes, really) and it’s the perfect swim cover up, day dress, and fancy dress. Plus it balls up to nothing.
  • Black knit blazer by Esley from ModCloth
  • Uniqlo black heattech sweatshirt wrap (similar) – super warm for sweatshirt material because it traps your body heat (heattech is amazing)
  • 3 Long Loft cardigans (orange, black, blue) (similar)
  • 5 pairs socks
    • 1 pair of smartwool socks for travel days
    • 4 pairs lightweight knit socks in neutral colors (black, grey, blue)
  • 5 Bras (2 nude, 3 colorful)
  • 9 Underwear (2 cotton, 2 sport,  4 lacy, 1 no show/ match set) – 3 weeks is a LONG time!
    • 1 honeymoon special set of bra and underwear
  • Eberjey Estelle Robe in Merlot (light, but long-sleeved)
  • Swimwear: Ikat bikini from Athleta in Amalfi Blue
  • Shoes:
  • Outerwear: classic Burberry Trench Coat from my mom’s closet (now it’s mine) (similar)

So I started by packing for a single week and then added items I needed for the difference in climate, the realities of being a lady away for 3 weeks (cycles are a thing), and specific activities. We did full loads of laundry at a laundromat twice and I washed a few pieces of our clothing in hotel sinks one or two additional times based on cycle and a very smoky restaurant. Highly recommend packing a clothing line and packets of delicate wash liquid. My trick is to pack 2-3 packets (though I usually only need one or two) and a tiny travel bottle so I can save what’s left of one packet for the next wash rather than having to toss it.

Main lesson learned: do not be a total idiot like I was and break in TWO new pairs of shoes on a walking-intensive vacation! Luckily, the Dorith sandals were favorites of my sister’s and we have similar feet issues. I made sure both new pairs (the Aetrex and the Naot) were supportive, great investment shoes and they had metatarsal support so I didn’t have to use my inserts for the majority of the trip. Having my favorite flats meant I could give my feet a break occasionally, but just the extremely flat flats would have been wrong for cobblestones, heat, and a ton of walking. I was happy to have some other shoes to wear when I got back, but by the end of three weeks both pairs were well broken in.

Coming home and living with my larger wardrobe for a few weeks, I find myself still gravitating toward a majority of these clothing items!

Photos of us by Flytographer Roberta in Rome

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Honeymoon Packing List Part 1: Carry On

I’m notorious for being a weeks-long packer. I sit my suitcase out and start making lists and piles for a week at minimum before the trip (usually I’ve been doing it in my head for a lot longer so the listing goes faster). For the honeymoon trip we took in July – 3 weeks across Europe – I felt the pressure. I watched YouTube videos. I Pinterested hard. I think I nailed it. So here’s what I learned (so I don’t have to pack for 3 weeks over 3 weeks next time).

Our trip was taking us to 3 countries over 3 weeks and included hot humid weather, potentially cool rainy weather, lake swimming, long cobblestone street walks, casual outings, and a 3-day acupuncture conference. Varied much? Despite this, I was determined to not only pack light and do laundry along the way (something I’ve done with varying success on my last 2 two-week long international trips to Japan and China), but to pack smart. I’ve been wanting to try the capsule wardrobe thing and this seemed like a great test.

Carry On

Between the two of us, we stuffed everything into my red and black Baggallini Wide-Mouth Dr. Bagg. No purse, no backpack. This was our only bag once we each checked our suitcases. Packing light? Check!


Verdict: The bag was heavy when fully loaded and I worried the whole time about breaking the shoulder strap. But we carried it carefully and it worked. The sleeve that allowed it to slide over the suitcase handle was a lifesaver for getting around planes, trains, and town. Continue reading

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Letter to Myself

I’m on break between finishing Term 2 and starting Term 3 so it’s spring cleaning time. I’m organizing all my papers and filing, etc. It’s actually a really nice thing to do today, despite the beautiful weather outside.

In the process of cleaning out my filing cabinet and reorganizing, I found the letter I wrote to myself when I first realized I had to change my life on that birthday trip to Sea Ranch in 2011. I had a hard conversation with my family and there were tears. Afterward, Lia handed me a piece of paper, titled it IT’S OKAY. and told me to write whatever I needed to sustain me through this mess. It is the most badass letter ever. I love it. I had no idea I still needed it. Thanks, past self. You always know what to say.

I can’t put all of it here, but this part I was particularly stunned by:

The world changes. People you love make mistakes, but they will always love you. Love them. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Fail. Fail a lot. No, seriously, you don’t know failure. Find out what it is. Seek it out. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid or not talented. You are smart, but not about everything. Live a little. Make that list. The one at the top. And ask for help. Stop procrastinating and make the next thing happen, whatever it is. Because you are worth it and it is time.

A year later, I started school. And I am so much happier. So much more myself now.


I am very late to this party, but I just saw the video of Joss Whedon accepting his Equality Now award in 2006 (I wrote my thesis on Buffy and other modern feminism/postfeminist topics post-Girl Power in 2005). And this. This. This. This is my answer to why we need feminism.

So… why do you write these strong women characters?
Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.
We need equality. Kinda now.

Video (YouTube) and Film•Ick (transcript).

Joss Whedon Love: Equality Now Speech

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Things I’ve learned about short hair (at 4 weeks)

I got my hair cut from super long to a pixie four weeks ago today. Here’s what I’ve learned so far (photos above from Home showing 2):

1. Pro: For the first week and a bit I thought I had to wash it every day to avoid looking like a matted sewer rat. Now I’ve learned that a little water and a little less styling wax than I use on clean hair works for a slightly less coifed bedhead-y look. At worst, I can jump in the shower just to get my hair wet again (no shampoo required) and restyle from there. Hooray for sleeping in!

2. Pro: As a side effect of the above, I haven’t touched a blowdryer since….two weeks ago?

3. Pro: The cheap wax I’ve had since college (called Hairgum) works better than the expensive stuff (by Davines) I splurged on. It makes my hair look shinier, smells less like I have hair product on, and is less stiff so running my fingers through my hair isn’t as tacky (though the other one really isn’t bad either). Continue reading

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And for my last trick…

Time for a pixie cut!

I had one last thing I wanted to change this year, but I purposely made myself wait on it to space out the transformation. Everything else changed seemingly at once. I wanted to make sure I REALLY wanted this and it wasn’t a reaction I would regret.

So I was chomping at the bit by the time I got to the salon last Friday (Nov 2nd). I had been so fed up with my long hair – realized I rarely wore it down, it thwacked me in the face even when it was supposedly tied up and out of the way in dance, it took forever to dry – and was so excited to try something new. I ended up donating 15 inches (of beautifully cared for and healthy hair, I might add) to Locks of Love and getting something even better than what I had mind. I was open during the process to seeing what my hair did and taking the advice of my awesome stylist. And of course, I couldn’t really picture what it was going to look like. I could only hope it would be something like the mishmash of ideas I’d gleaned from the inspiration images I gathered (and walked my stylist through in our consultation the week before).

Here’s what I was going for: a little Emma Watson, a little Audrey Hepburn. Definitely something around the ears (ear curls?), simple bangs that could be spiky and piecey or swept aside less noticeably, and really short at the back.

Rosa tied my hair into two braids so we could donate the maximum length (and leave the smallest amount on the floor). Here’s the chop:

And here’s the new cut!

Continue reading

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Twitterstorm Thoughts

A Feminist in the Kitchen:

i don’t think there’s a singular voice that can or should speak for all of feminism. all of these voices are, whether we like it or not, the voices of women.

Catching up on the Caitlin Moran Twitterstorm and the Tumblr post referenced above seems to capture my take best. I LOVED Caitlin Moran’s book. I honestly didn’t think about whether it spoke to all aspects of feminism evar because I picked it up for its humor. It is at heart an autobiography/memoir. And it has some lovely, very true things in it that may make some people embrace feminism who might otherwise have been scared away by it. Big applause for that. I’m glad it’s become a bestseller because that’s a great book for people to see, hear an excerpt of, etc. It gets those thoughts in the culture.

I’m a non-white woman. I identify as a woman first, and a person of color second. It’s not something I think about every single day and I like it that way. But it’s absolutely a fact that’s shoved in my face every day and as someone who believes in teaching media literacy and having wide representation in our media I am slightly bothered by the fact that Lena Dunham’s show doesn’t have any realistic representation of women in color in it. Especially to represent post-college women in New York in this day and age. But at the same time, I’d be very, very suspect of the show if it had one non-white woman just to make it more representational (psst we can tell when they do that). It’s telling a story well as is. Of course wider representation COULD make it better, but it wouldn’t be a solution in and of itself. Picking one show or one book to harp on isn’t the solution. It should be a swell of stories from different angles and multiple voices. Anything else would be false and phony and wouldn’t make us any happier.

I retweeted a video a few weeks ago about what Mindy Kaling’s show means to Indians in America. The show is also great (I’m definitely going to keep watching it) but it’s not perfect. I couldn’t ask for it to be (though I might hope otherwise). But it’s funny and it’s on a network. Seriously, I’ll take it. And hope that opens the door a little more and then a little more to more voices and actors and writers and producers from different backgrounds and who bring something else to the table.

I do think Caitlin should have expressed her opinion a little more eloquently, but that’s the hazard of Twitter and being known for snappy one-liners. She should (when she feels sincere about it) own up to coming across as dismissive and say more about her opinion (especially as a pop culture journalist) or she’ll be remembered by a lot of potential supporters as something I don’t think she is. And that would be a shame.

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Best Year of My Life

It’s been a long, weird year. Lots of tears, lots of change. But I think that I can say now, on the eve of my 29th birthday, that in a very strange way it has been the best year so far because it’s been a year of control and positive change.

I acknowledged that there was a problem

This is where I was a year ago. We went to Sea Ranch on my birthday in order to celebrate mine and my mom’s (the 3rd). While we were up there, I confessed to my family that I felt stuck and ready for a new challenge. I wasn’t sure what it would be yet, but I knew I wasn’t learning anything anymore and didn’t feel my work was as meaningful as it could be. I would eventually figure out why and identify what aspects did make me happy. But so much of the struggle was feeling that there wasn’t anything wrong with my life other than that I wasn’t happy in it. I was working with smart, creative people doing work that mattered. But it still wasn’t enough.

For years, I had taken for granted that I would go to business school after a few years of working. 3 years quickly became 5+ years and something was holding me back from applying. I finally realized it just didn’t feel right. That’s the first step, though. Just acknowledging that something isn’t working.

Continue reading


“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” ― Audrey Hepburn

My kind of sex appeal

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Why Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine?

As many of you now know, I’ve left Mule and embarked on a new journey. I’m taking the summer off to figure out the big changes in my life, travel and see friends, and enjoy simply being a person before I become a student (label alert!) again. Starting in the fall, I’ll be studying integrative medicine, specifically Japanese and Chinese medicine. Many, many different things brought me to this decision. For simplicity’s sake, I’m using as a reference and explanation my admissions essay:

The final lines from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day have stuck with me through the years, challenging me to answer them: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Until deciding to pursue Oriental Medicine, I felt I was not living up to the possibility of a happy and meaningful life. I’ve learned much from my professional life so far, but have found that while I may gain satisfaction from knowing that my clients’ work and the overall mission of my company may be positive forces in the world, I am not making an impact directly nor am I doing something I love. I believe integrative medicine is the profession that will allow me to make that direct, personal impact in the world while also bringing me joy in the everyday work.

My career to date has been as a communications professional, most recently in the world of web design project management where my approach to client relations is based in empathy and translation. The part of my role I’ve most enjoyed is understanding where the client is coming from and what their needs are in order to advise them on how best we can help them. This requires the daily practice of empathy, a vital state of being to me, as a person and as a professional. Over the past several months I’ve noticed and considered these parts of myself I need to express and I’m setting out on this path now in order to give voice to them. Continue reading

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