Celebrating with Kate

Last night Kate and I enjoyed a celebratory dinner at Kirala (yum!) in honor of finishing my Right-Brain Business Plan book. (Wish we got a better pic. Oh well.) Kate is a fabulous friend plus my ultimate creative cohort – she designed my brochure and my Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit, she designed and illustrated my Right-Brain Business Plan e-Book, and she did all of the darling illustrations in my forthcoming book, hence the celebration.

In 2008-2009, Kate, her sister Molly, and I even did a fun, collaborative project together called Kiss the Paper (and we celebrated the completion of that year-long blog at Kirala as well, at the same table even!). Kate launched a new blog this month called eat 30 where she documents her new habit of eating breakfast daily. It’s been fun to get a glimpse into her mornings.

I feel so fortunate to partner with such a talented, loving, and sweet friend. Thanks so much, Kate! You’re the best. xoxo

Book Club (or Should I Say Food Club?)


On Sunday, I enjoyed book club with my dear friends.  We should probably call it food club, though, since the incredible meals tend to overshadow the book discussion.  And with delicious food like this, who could blame us?!

Our book selection this time was the Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I enjoyed the book and how it unfolded over correspondence.

Ahh, but enough talk of the book and on to the food… For appetizers, Christina made a fancy version of Scottish eggs (a quail egg rolled in chicken sausage and breadcrumbs and then fried to a yummy crisp).  They were amazing!!


Our main dish was this scrumptiously rich dover sole stuffed with crab and shrimp.


And here’s the ultra-talented chef, Christina!  Thank you, Christina for working your culinary magic.  I love getting to hang out with the book club ladies!  I’m guaranteed good laughs, great food and a grand old time.

One Person’s Junk is Another’s Treasure


I can’t believe that I’ve lived in Oakland for more than five years and had yet to visit East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse!  Well, last Friday my friend Julie and I rectified that situation.  We beamed with excitement as we read on the website, “Every teacher’s first stop and every artist’s second home.”  Since Julie’s a teacher and we’re both quite crafty we knew this could be dangerous!


While I’m not one to rummage through garage sales and flea markets (I just get too overwhelmed), I was amazed at the random and fun things I found at the depot.  You can buy scrap paper buy the inch, crayons by the pound, buttons by the bag and so much more!  I picked up a handful of those bright yellow buttons, a bag of cool retro book pages, an old UC Berekely newspaper from 1974, some upholstery swatches, a few sheets of handmade paper and a blank book shaped like a tag.  I’m looking forward to the creative ways I can use these goodies.

If you haven’t been yet, definitely check it out.  And of course while you’re in the Temescal area, stop by Bake Sale Betty‘s for the fried chicken.  Julie and I waited in a line that went almost down the block, but it was worth it for the delicious fried chicken salad, ginger cookie and lemonade.  (We rationalized to ourselves that the fried chicken salad was much healthier than the famous fried chicken sandwich!).  Also, my favorite yarn store, Article Pract, is nearby, too, as is my friend Danielle Fox’s beautiful new gallery Slate Art and Design.  Lots of creative inspiration along this street!

AEDM Day 27: Food as Art

I rarely cook, but when I do, I enjoy going gourmet.  For our family Thanksgiving feast, I was in charge of appetizers.  So my art for today was my delicious sweet potato galettes with turkey bacon, sage and rosemary with a dollop of sour cream.  Yum!!

Before I go to bed, I’m going to finish my gratitude that I started this moring and will place it in my blessings box.  Ahhh, I’m full of good food and lots of gratitude!

AEDM Day 7: Orchids

A quick watercolor tonight.  Orchids are one of my favorite flowers.  Simple, elegant and beautiful.

Earlier tonight, Kate and I took a tour of Oakland’s Art Mumur.  Every first Friday of the month several art galleries near downtown Oakland have open studios.  We’d never been before, so it was cool to see such a bustling creative community in the heart of the city.  To top it off, Kate and I dined on some Louisiana style fried chicken and candied yams at a local dive.  Yum!  Definitely a fun night on the town.

Empanadas of My Soul

Kristen’s book club selection was Isabel Allende’s sweeping historic novel Ines of My Soul.  I was engrossed by this tale of the strong and independent Spanish conquistadora who is said to have helped build Santiago, Chile.  In the story, Ines has a talent for making empanadas.

Since we book club ladies love our themed meals it was a great excuse for Francisca’s famous empanadas (from her mom Ines’ secret recipe).  With rolling pin in hand, Francisca gave us a lesson in how to assemble these savory treats.

We learned how to fold and seal the dough to keep the spicy goodness from seeping out.  We crimped the edges with a fork and coated the pastry with a glistening egg wash.

We dined on a cheese platter and fresh tomato salad with red onions and cilantro as the emapanadas cooked to a golden brown.  I can’t tell you how utterly amazing these empanadas were.  We each took home a few and I am looking forward to eating one tomorrow!

Some of my favorite book clubs have been when we do something interactive together like practicing yoga, teaching each other how to knit or sharing our creative projects.

It’s my turn next!  What suggestions do you have for a great read?  Would love to hear.  Thanks!

Happy Unbirthday

For some reason, Plaxo thought today was my birthday.  Colleagues sent me birthday wishes and e-cards.  It was pretty cool to have an extended celebration!  My actual birthday was on Tuesday.  I enjoyed my day by taking the afternoon off, hanging out with my friend Kate (who gave me the lovely orchid pictured above), going to yoga, having a white chocolate dream at Bittersweet and then Brian took me out for a nice dinner in Berkeley.  I also started off my b-day by writing what I’m grateful for on a card for my blessings box and what I hope for the coming year on another card for my wish box.

What I loved about getting the second round of birthday wishes on my unbirthday is that it reminded me of something one of the leaders in my leadership program talked about.  He mentioned that growth is the process of constantly being shattered and reborn.  So in effect, everyday and every moment is our birthday.  At any given instant, we have the opportunity to shed the old and embrace the new.   So, Happy Birthday to you, too!

Date Night

Brian and I just had date night. We dined on delicious seafood at Anchor and Hope and had a great conversation. With all my recent travels, it was nice to finally have some uninterrupted quality time together! After dinner, we walked over to SFMOMA to see the incredible and wildly popular Frida Kahlo exhibit. It was amazing to see that many of her paintings all in one place. The intensity and vulnerability of her work is so powerful and moving.

It was a lovely evening and I’m looking forward to more date nights in the near future :). Given that we’re both pretty busy, this was a great reminder about the importance of consciously making time together a priority.

Luxury, Gratitude and Synchronicity

On Thursday, the question of the day at Cafe Gratitude was, “What is luxurious about your life?” My answer… the fact that I have the freedom and flexibility to have a nice lunch in the middle of the day with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. I had been so looking forward to seeing my friend and old Old Navy HR teammate Meredith and hearing the latest and greatest in her life! We had such a wonderful time reconnecting. She’s getting her masters in Expressive Arts Therapy so we also had a great conversation about using Expressive Arts in therapy and coaching.

While we were there, I looked a few tables over and thought that the woman there looked kinda familiar. I said to Meredith, “I think that woman wrote the book that’s in my purse right now!” I’m taking a workshop from Kimberly Wilson this Sunday in the city, so I’ve been reading her awesome book Hip Tranquil Chick. When we were done with lunch, I went to the bathroom and pulled out the book to check the headshot. I was pretty sure it was her and thought, oh what the hell, I’ll just go over to the table and ask! Turns out it was indeed Kimberly. She was really sweet and she recognized me from the wishstudio blogzine where we both have a guest column. I’m looking forward to her Yoga & Creativity workshop this weekend.

After lunch, I had a quarterly in-person check-in session with a long-standing coaching client. We did some cool work together using the Inside Team model with Expressive Arts. I’m excited to be incorporating these new tools into my practice and seeing the powerful impact it has.

I had a couple of hours before my SF Coaches board meeting, so I stopped off at Fillmore Street to hang out. Went to Paper Source and bought some new pens. Then moseyed on over to Bittersweet for a lovely cup of White Chocolate Dream (my absolute favorite is their Spicy! hot chocolate, but I knew if I had it that late in the day I’d be wired… yes, I’m that sensitive to caffeine!).

Finished the night off with a great BBQ and meeting on the deck of fellow board member Heidi’s Marina apartment.

Ahhh, I’m grateful for my luxuriously leisurely and synchronistic day in beautiful San Fran!

Bountiful Backyard Blackberries

Who knew that I had a wild blackberry bramble in my backyard?! Well, my next door neighbor did. This weekend, she was trimming some of the vines that had grown over on to her side of the fence. She had a large basket full of branches brimming with berries and she offered me some to me.

As I picked the luscious, dark jewels from their prickly stems, I was amazed that this succulent fruit was right in my backyard (hidden behind a big Camellia bush to be exact!).

I enjoyed a handful of the berries on my yummy waffle breakfast!

This impromptu harvest of delightful berries reminds me that there are often juicy surprises just ripe for the pickin’ right in front of us if we’re willing to look.