Everyday Magic – 43

Weekly Intention: This week and next week are my final weeks managing a team that I’ve had on loan. My intention this week is to start gracefully transitioning to the new manager by closing out some of the final bits of work with the team. My other intention is to start having conversations with my manager about the next six months. And my personal intention is to spend some serious time journaling and figuring out my plans for 2020. Let’s get organized.

This month’s intention is: Everyday Magic:  October is a long month and not a lot of time off so you need to add a bit of magic to it. Add small bits of life and magic into your every day. Give this month the kick it needs to make it a notch more magical. Ok here we go. Printing this week. Adding more flowers to work. Bringing magic to my clothes. Making a magical moment every day!

One way I will show up this week:  calm.

One magic I will make this week: i will go back to exercising daily. I have plans.

This week, I will pay attention to: my feelings, my listening, and the way I show up.

This week, I will be kinder to: everyone, i will be calm and kind and try hard not to trigger.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: myself by making some plans.

One new thing I will learn this week: more about 9th grade

I am looking forward to: going to David’s school

This week’s challenges: Hmm it’s about 10 more days of a lot of meetings so I think that will be the most challenging part.

Top Goals: 

  • Work: maybe nbu email. stay on top of email. clean up calendar aggressively. final perf. setup perf meetings. make 6-mo plan.
  • Personal: daily drawing, exercise, journal, make time to sleep. come up with a whitney plan. restart meal plan. make 2020 plan.
  • Family:  family photos, hug kids. date night with jake. hike.

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: loving flowers and light and photos.
  • Learn: learn to stop triggering so much.
  • Peace: with however long things will take.
  • Service: to 2020.
  • Gratitude: for another week.

This week, I want to remember: that there’s unlimited time.


Everyday Magic is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Weekly Reflection 2019 – 42

Magic I Saw this Week: Hmm there was a lot of lovely magic at work this week with our annual leadership conference. It was lovely and also tiring. The kids had no school on Friday and I worked from home so that was magical too.

Magic I Made this Week: I got to finally meet my friend Leslie for a little bit which was magical. I also helped make the summit happen, does that count?

Magic of Me that I explored Week: not too much this week.

Top Goals Review:  not the most successful week this week.

  • Work: did nbu preso+email. did stay on top of email. did not yet clean up calendar aggressively but started. got offsite ready. didn’t finish final perf. did not yet setup perf meetings.
  • Personal: did daily drawing, exercised a tiny amount, did not journal, partially made time to sleep. did not come up with a whitney plan. completely obliterated meal plan.
  • Family:  did family photos, hugged kids. sort of had date night with jake. did not hike.

I celebrate: i am done with my presentation.

I am grateful for: a new manager who will take over one of my teams.

This week, I exercised: i went rock climbing with jake twice this week, that was all.

Self-care this week: took Friday from home just to rest and recover.

I showed up for: work

I said yes to: so much socializing time this week

I said no to: doing more than i could.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace:  embracing the ups and downs of my emotions lately.
  • Alive: being outside always makes me feel more alive.
  • Lighter: my calendar is already getting lighter.
  • Kinder: this is an area i continue to struggle in.
  • Surrender: surrendering to what is.

What I tolerated this week: long days of socializing completely depleted this social introvert.

My mood this week was: tired, anxious.

I am proud of: presenting even when i really didn’t want to.

I forgive myself for: how much i am learning at once and thus failing often.

Here’s what I learned this week: one step at a time

What I love right now: i really really really love my kids and husband.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Moments of Gratitude – 36

Here’s to Seeing more Magic in 2019.


Moments of Gratitude is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Joy of Art – 41

I’ve been doing art daily for the last few months, each of these pieces matches with a book I am reading. You can see them all daily in my instagram.


Joy of Art is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Books I Read This Week 2019 – 42

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.


Nothing to See Here (4 stars): “How else would we protect ourselves?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. How did people protect themselves? How did anyone keep this world from ruining them? I wanted to know. I wanted to know so bad.

The blurb of this book is not typical and I am not sure what drew me to it but I am so glad I read it. Even though this book sounds like it’s about two kids who light on fire, the fire itself is such a small part of the overall story. It’s really about parenting, family, friendship, neglect, and belonging.

“She was holding it in her hands, cupped together. It looked like what love must look like, just barely there, so easy to extinguish.”

I am not usually a fan of dark humor but in this case, I think it was beautifully done and added a tiny bit of lightness into this story which at its core is actually a very sad story. If you’re looking for a funny, clever story about kids who spontaneously burst into flames, this is not your story. 

If you’re looking for a touching story about belonging and family with bits of dark humor sprinkled in about politics and wealth, this is your story.

I loved reading it.

With gratitude to netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


Well Met (3 stars): This was a really fast, sweet read. I could tell what was going to happen from about page 1 so I found parts of the characters behaviors irritating. But if you’re in the mood for a predictably sweet romance without too much heat, this one is perfectly fine.


Little Faith (4 stars): A beautifully told story of a family whose daughter falls in with a church that feels more like a zealot cult. The details in this story are so visual and beautiful. I loved each of the characters, telling this very emotional story in a quiet way. My favorite definitely was Lyle’s best friend and watching the relationship between Lyle and Isaac. Since the story is told from Lyle’s perspective, IMHO we don’t get to see Shiloh’s perspective as much as I wish we did. But the feeling of helplessness and trying so hard to balance the love you have for your daughter while really disagreeing with her choices was so vivid, so visceral that it’s hard not to feel it alongside Lyle. 

I loved all the descriptive writing, the rich character development, and the quiet but strong emotional tug of this story. Really well-done.


Red at the Bone (4 stars): Woodson is the master of the short and poignant novel. She is fantastic at bringing together a cast of characters and telling enough details in just the right way so the characters are now 3-dimensional and you are attached to them. She’s the master of beautiful writing. This particular story was wonderful and I also felt like it spoke to so many issues in such a short space. Feminism, motherhood, racism, love and so so much sadness in one small book. 

I loved finding about each of the backstories of each of the characters and the impact of the one decision one teenager makes on all of their lives. Another wonderful novel by Woodson.


Broken Man on a Halifax Pier (3.5 stars): “I realized there was no such thing as a life without consequences. Every little thing—or big thing—you do in life sends out ripples in the pond that keep getting wider and wider.”

Reading this novel was an interesting journey. The two main characters meet on a Pier on a random night and end up having a meal together. The dialogue is unusual in that it’s almost immediately witty and they are quoting literature/poetry at each other which was amusing and also annoying at the same time. The interesting part is that this doesn’t really continue throughout the novel all that much.

The characters, Ramona and Charles, meet and immediately hit it off and then decide to do an impromptu drive to Charles’ hometown which he hasn’t been to in a long, long time. This starts off a chain of events that add complications to both of the characters’ lives. The issues get serious very quickly and the two characters get enmeshed in each others’ lives. 

While the story was engaging and I kept wanting to read it, I did feel like the emotional intensity required to so heavily and fully invest into another person whom you just met (especially when in the context of some of these very serious issues) was not really clear in the story. It always felt a bit distant. We didn’t get to see the depth in any of the characters and understand their motivation for continuing to get/stay engaged in each others complex lives.

Having said that, I really did enjoy the story and enjoyed some of the secondary characters like Jack and BethAnn and the story continued to be engaging and worthwhile. The writing was engaging and it was a great story about second chances, small towns, people looking out for each other. 

With gratitude to netgalley and Dundurn for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Water Dancer (3 stars): I had a mixed relationship with this book. I loved the writing, the magical realism and the story was very powerful. I wasn’t able to stay fully engaged throughout the story and found certain bits really interesting and other bits didn’t seem as much so I found myself flowing in and out of the story. Overall, I am really glad I read it and the writing alone was worth every minute I spent on it.


Living Beautifully (5 stars): “We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives. Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up.”

This beautiful journal is full of meaningful quotes from one of my favorite writers. Her words of wisdom are always so simple and yet so profound. A constant reminder that we are whole just as we are and the goal is not to change who we are.

“Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can.”

The simplest advice/reminder is always the hardest to follow in my opinion and Chodron’s words are just like that: deceptively easy looking.

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”

The idea of befriending who we are already is both so profound and so simple and so, so hard.

“Whether we’re conscious of it or not, the ground is always shifting. Nothing lasts, including us. It’s up to you how to use your life. Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax.”

This journal is full of quotes like this one. If, like me, you need regular reminders of these simple and yet so, so profound words, you will love this journal.

With gratitude to edelweiss and penguin publishing group for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


And there we go, a solid week of reading. Here’s to another great week next week.


Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Everyday Magic – 42

Weekly Intention: And here we go. This is the week we’ve been planning for, for the last few months. Leadership offsite. At the same time as this week, I also have a big presentation on Wednesday that I am really anxious about. My intention this week is to prepare all monday and then let go and just be present Tuesday and show up and do the best I can on Wednesday and then let go and be present again. I am going to breathe, do the best I can, and then let it go. Let’s hope this works.

This month’s intention is: Everyday Magic:  October is a long month and not a lot of time off so you need to add a bit of magic to it. Add small bits of life and magic into your every day. Give this month the kick it needs to make it a notch more magical. I didn’t print things last weekend so maybe I can do it this weekend.

One way I will show up this week:  present.

One magic I will make this week: i think i will try and see if i can do yoga to help me be present.

This week, I will pay attention to: how i show up

This week, I will be kinder to: myself.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: let’s go for this presentation.

One new thing I will learn this week: how to present?

I am looking forward to: this week being over 🙂

This week’s challenges: Wednesday is the biggest challenge so I will be grateful when we’re past it.

Top Goals:  so many of these are the same

  • Work: nbu preso+email. stay on top of email. clean up calendar aggressively. getting offsite ready. final perf. setup perf meetings.
  • Personal: daily drawing, exercise, journal, make time to sleep. come up with a whitney plan. continue meal plan.
  • Family:  family photos, hug kids. date night with jake. hike.

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: loving getting closer to christmas.
  • Learn: learn to forgive myself.
  • Peace: with this phase.
  • Service: to doing the best i can.
  • Gratitude: for the sunshine.

This week, I want to remember: that i can do this and it’s all going to be ok.


Everyday Magic is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Weekly Reflection 2019 – 41

Magic I Saw this Week: I feel like I am being repetitive at this point. Work’s been a lot lately and I am just doing it all the time. The magic of this week has been the sunshine, the early morning drawing at work, trying to balance all the things and gratitude for California and its weather, so grateful not to have gloomy weather on top of all this.

Magic I Made this Week: I made one of Jake’s dreams come true. At least I enabled it 🙂

Magic of Me that I explored Week: hmm a bit more OLW and some scrapping.

Top Goals Review:  not the most successful week this week.

  • Work: nbu preso mostly done. didn’t stay on top of email but cleaned it out. started cleaning up calendar aggressively. got offsite ready. more perf done. committee done. setup perf meetings not done.
  • Personal: did daily drawing, did not exercise, did journal, sort of made time to sleep. did not come up with a whitney plan. barely continued meal plan.
  • Family:  did family photos, hugged kids. no date night with jake. did hair.

I celebrate: that i am still drawing and still reading and still showing up.

I am grateful for: Jake’s journey and happiness.

This week, I exercised: i did not exercise atall this week. took the week off. Except for a 5.5 mile walk.

Self-care this week: got my hair done, and just took all the mornings off this week.

I showed up for: my husband on Thursday.

I said yes to: working late on Friday so i could get my list done.

I said no to: my knee has been very injured so i’ve been saying no to putting more pressure on it.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace:  embracing the sunny days while they are still here.
  • Alive: trying to adjust my sleep so i can feel more rested.
  • Lighter: one more week and i will feel a step change.
  • Kinder: asking for help when i can.
  • Surrender: surrendering to how i feel

What I tolerated this week: i’ve been feeling really tired and depleted.

My mood this week was: rushed.

I am proud of: serving on committee.

I forgive myself for: how i am unable to handle change.

Here’s what I learned this week: i can let things go

What I love right now: still getting to enjoy the sunshine.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Moments of Gratitude – 35

Here’s to Seeing more Magic in 2019.


Moments of Gratitude is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Joy of Art – 40

I’ve been doing art daily for the last few months, each of these pieces matches with a book I am reading. You can see them all daily in my instagram.


Joy of Art is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Books I Read This Week 2019 – 41

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.


Emergency Skin (4 stars): “Sometimes that’s all it takes to save a world, you see. A new vision. A new way of thinking, appearing at just the right time.”

This book is a super fast read and reasonably simple to follow. It’s one of the Forward series books based off of an idea Blake Crouch had where he then recruited writers to write their own versions. N. K. Jemisin’s story packs several ideas around sexism, socialism, racism and more into a simple, upbeat-feeling story. It’s so short that I’d recommend you just read the story instead of reading reviews about it.


Summer Frost (4 stars): “Because you saw Max for the first time in the form of a corporately mandated idea of what a perfect woman should be—beautiful and expendable.”

This was my second read from the Forward series. I have enjoyed every Blake Crouch book I’ve read and this was no exception. This short, simple story is full of complex ideas around good and evil, future of technology, identity, artificial intelligence and more. The pacing is super fast in the beginning and slows down a bit in the middle and then picks up again at the end. There are some twists. It’s fast, it’s interesting, it’s enjoyable and it blows your mind a bit. Signature Blake Crouch.


The Whisper Man (3.5 stars): This book gets very strong positive reviews from lots of people, so it had been on my list for some time. I don’t usually enjoy creepy novels but I decided to tackle this and in the end, for me, it was just so-so. I did like how character-driven the story was. It’s rare for mystery stories to be character driven and I enjoyed that a lot. I also enjoyed how flawed, complex and textured each of the male characters was (albeit the female ones were not quite as three-dimensional.) I did like the story but maybe because I listened to it on audio, the creepiness factor wasn’t there enough for me to make this book stand out in any particular way. I definitely appear to be the anomaly, however, so I’d ignore my review 🙂


Fleishman is in Trouble (4 stars): I have so many thoughts about this novel that I don’t even know where to begin. The novel starts with the story of a newly separated Fleishman and at first you think it’s going to be all about how he is trying to put himself out there again and get laid. There are a lot of sexual details that, for me, was the original reason I put this book down the first time I tried to read it. I felt that I didn’t really need to read a book about a man in his mid-life crisis. I’m not a big fan of that type of funny either. But, my friend Lauren really liked and recommended it, so I picked it up again and kept reading. 

And it got so much better. And sadder. 

I will say that the book goes on a bit longer than I think is necessary, I was a lot more engaged and interested when the story turned to their past and how the marriage unraveled. And maybe not surprisingly, it got so much stronger when we finally get to hear the wife’s perspective. It was such a profound shift that it’s almost like Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies where once you hear the story from the other character’s perspective, your whole experience changes. That’s how it felt to me. And there were enough things that hit so close to home that I couldn’t help but mourn. 

Even though at its core, it’s about marriage, this book is really about being a woman, a mother, a wife and tackles concepts around ambition, success, aging, and the complexity and impossibility of balancing/managing all of these while being a woman.

There’s so much here. I am glad I gave this book another chance. But, I think I also will be sad for a while thanks to the truths it tells.


Winners Take All (4 stars): There’s so much I can say about this book but honestly I am still forming my own thoughts. There’s so many layers of this book that touches my own history and my own present. I don’t think the book is perfect, I am not even sure it’s a fully formed hypothesis but I do think that it’s highlighting something important. I am glad I read it and I will be thinking about it for a long time. For me, that’s all that I ask of a non-fiction book. I already have and will continue to recommend this to many people I know.


There You Are (5 stars): “There’s no way for me to separate myself from my brother and no way to separate Francis from, I don’t know being Francis. Do you understand?”
“I think so,” Mina Said.
“I know it sounds crazy, but before I can even know what I, Octavian, want, I have to be sure that Francis is going to be alright first.:
“I understand,” she said.
“How?”
Mina took a deep breath. “Because that’s how I feel about you sometimes.”

I loved every bit of this book. There’s so much that’s special about it. It’s about Octavian and Mina who meet when they are 5 and become friends but then they go to separate schools and lose touch and then come together again as teenagers, both working in a record store. 

The novel follows their lives, going back and forth in time and jumping around to also show Octavian’s father’s perspective and the record store owner’s (Bones) who might have been one of my very favorite characters. In fact, the handful of chapters that are his backstory might be my favorite where I was so delighted, I laughed out loud.

The characters in this story are so well developed, so three dimensional, so layered and textured and real that it’s not possible to not get invested in all of them. The music store as a setting is absolutely perfect and such a great place for all these young people to come together and form relationships of a lifetime. 

There is a lot about racism in this book but no new revelations or lesson, more about the role it plays in the characters’ lives in all sorts of ways that feel real and remind the reader about how far we have not come without being preachy at all. There’s a profound-to-me section where Octavian’s dad is still trying to be respectful and let his neighbor’s feelings matter more than his about a racially charged event and it just made me realize how much I still have to learn and how far we all still have to go. The story made me think and wince and highlighted how there’s still so much to do. It’s so beautifully woven into the story, feels so authentic to the characters. 

“…but as he wrapped her in his arms, he felt a gathering of pieces of himself that had scattered since the time when he hadn’t known pain so intimately. He pressed them together into his own box of memories and closed the lid.”

This book is not just about race, it’s about family, love, friendship, being young, belonging, and so much more. Race is a layer across all of it since it’s a big part of the character’s experiences as they move through life. The loyalty and responsibility Octavian feels to his brother. The love he and Mina have for each other and how love of that magnitude is often complicated.

“She wasn’t sure she had the energy to manage the life she had created.”

I will repeat that I loved every bit of this book. The characters, the setting, the writing, it was all beautifully done. Highly recommended.

With gratitude to netgalley and Amberjack Publishing for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


Nothing To See Here (4 stars): “How else would we protect ourselves?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. How did people protect themselves? How did anyone keep this world from ruining them? I wanted to know. I wanted to know so bad.

The blurb of this book is not typical and I am not sure what drew me to it but I am so glad I read it. Even though this book sounds like it’s about two kids who light on fire, the fire itself is such a small part of the overall story. It’s really about parenting, family, friendship, neglect, and belonging.

“She was holding it in her hands, cupped together. It looked like what love must look like, just barely there, so easy to extinguish.”

I am not usually a fan of dark humor but in this case, I think it was beautifully done and added a tiny bit of lightness into this story which at its core is actually a very sad story. If you’re looking for a funny, clever story about kids who spontaneously burst into flames, this is not your story. 

If you’re looking for a touching story about belonging and family with bits of dark humor sprinkled in about politics and wealth, this is your story.

I loved reading it.

With gratitude to netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Memory Police (3.5 stars): One of the reasons I really enjoy reading Japanese fiction is that I find the stories are very different from what I usually read which I love. This was no exception. A really unusual story that emphasizes the importance of memories and how we forget things and move on easily. It has an Orwellian tone to it and it’s absurd in places but it’s laced with a quietness and love that kept drawing me to the story and if you, like me, really enjoy unusual stories, add this one to your list.


And there we go, a solid week of reading. Here’s to another great week next week.


Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Everyday Magic – 41

Weekly Intention: This week is going to be intense. I have promotion committee all of Monday. And the rest of the week will be full of presentations we have to prepare for two different summits next week. Kids are home Wednesday and I might be taking David to school on Friday night. So, all this means that I will do what matters most: exercise, eat well and sleep. That’s the plan.

This month’s intention is: Everyday Magic:  October is a long month and not a lot of time off so you need to add a bit of magic to it. Add small bits of life and magic into your every day. Give this month the kick it needs to make it a notch more magical. Ok this week’s small bit of magic will be getting something for my office desk. or printing something for it.

One way I will show up this week:  quiet.

One magic I will make this week: Maybe i can spend some time with a friend. i miss seeing friends.

This week, I will pay attention to: how i can be more curious and listen more.

This week, I will be kinder to: myself.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: it’s going to have to be work.

One new thing I will learn this week: i’m going to focus on learning how to be quieter.

I am looking forward to: reading some more this week if I can.

This week’s challenges: promo committee. all the meetings that are still to come. piling up email.

Top Goals: 

  • Work: nbu preso. stay on top of email. clean up calendar aggressively. getting offsite ready. more perf. committee. setup perf meetings.
  • Personal: daily drawing, exercise, journal, make time to sleep. come up with a whitney plan. continue meal plan.
  • Family:  family photos, hug kids. date night with jake. hair.

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: loving getting to snuggle under the covers and reading.
  • Learn: learn how to present slowly and well.
  • Peace: with going to bed early.
  • Service: to taking a breath, stepping back and staying focused.
  • Gratitude: for the wild.

This week, I want to remember: the going out is good for me. i love the fresh air.


Everyday Magic is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.

Weekly Reflection 2019 – 40

Magic I Saw this Week: This was another work-heavy week. I have one more and then it should get quieter or so I hope. Most of the magic I saw this week has been my wonderful family taking every day as it comes.

Magic I Made this Week: I worked hard this past friday so I didn’t have to work over the weekend. We’re going to say that counts!

Magic of Me that I explored Week: hmm some fun scrapbooking.

Top Goals Review:  not the most successful week this week.

  • Work: did a bit on org health. did stay on top of email. did clean up calendar but not aggressively yet. still getting offsite ready. and getting my preso ready. did some more perf. did committee packets.
  • Personal: did daily drawing, exercised, journaled, made time to sleep. did not come up with a whitney plan. and did sort of do a meal plan.
  • Family:  did family photos, hugged kids. did date night with jake. will get hair done soon.

I celebrate: working late Friday and reading all the packets

I am grateful for: a quiet weekend

This week, I exercised: i went to body pump, walked on a 15% incline on my treadmill and went rockclimbing this week and also finally got my belay card.

Self-care this week: still reading a lot that’s about it.

I showed up for: only work this week i’m afraid.

I said yes to: taking the belay test.

I said no to: working the weekend.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace:  embracing what is for now.
  • Alive: the cold is a bit tough to take, adjusting.
  • Lighter: feeling a bit lighter as we get closer to deadlines
  • Kinder: trying to pay attention to the voices in my head.
  • Surrender: surrendering to the craziness of work

What I tolerated this week: a lot of work.

My mood this week was: tired.

I am proud of: getting my belay card.

I forgive myself for: having to make exceptions.

Here’s what I learned this week: it’s all going to be okay

What I love right now: not having outside of work obligations.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here.