Moments of Gratitude – 09

Here’s week nine, still able to keep up with daily gratitudes and my magic list on the weekends. 

david at doctor’s checkup and parent conferences, some art, some flowers and the love of my life.
celebration cupcakes. my night star light. more art. and my wonderful boys.

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 – 08

It is okay to rest. Breathe.

This is the vision board I made for my word “magic” this year. I love making these and use them as my background on my computers and paste it into my journals, etc.


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 – 08

A lot of reading this week because we were on vacation and there was a lot of driving.  Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! 


Freefall (3.5stars):  I read The Silent Patient last week. I had heard it was a page turner, but, for me, it didn’t turn out to be. Whereas Freefallwas in fact just the right pace for me and I kept wanting to read it even after I’d figured out the whole plot. 

There’s a twist or two. Most of them I saw coming but it didn’t bother me. I still enjoyed reading this fast-paced story. I won’t remember much of it in a few weeks, I’m sure, but that’s ok. Sometimes it’s just about enjoying a book in the moment. 

And this was one of those


The Test (4 stars):  This is short story was a super-fast read and I really really loved it. I have read Themis Files and loved it so I was looking forward to Sylvain Neuvel‘s new book and figured I would like it.

It didn’t disappoint. This is a quick but really engaging read. The story is told in a way that allows you to experience it along with the main character. It’s high anxiety, stressful and devastating all at once. As with Neuvel’s other novels, the sci-fi setting is a way to deliver a thought-provoking story that creates dialogue around our society.

It also has the added layers of topics like the ramifications of choices we make, the value of human life, and of course immigration. A lot to think about packed into this one short story. 


Becoming (5 stars):  I’m not a huge memoir person. Even though I’ve always admired Michelle Obama, I didn’t feel a pull to read this particular book. I still knew I was going to want to read it at some point so I added it to my audible account, especially because I knew she had narrated it. 

Once I started reading this, I didn’t want to stop. There so many profound one-liners in it.

Bullies were scared people hiding inside scary people.

what an eloquent and simple way to explain something that i often try to talk to my kids about.

Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.

this one struck me so hard that I had to stop and write it down. 

This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time.

This is a lesson so many of us have to learn. Something I learned when I was in my twenties and I find myself having to learn it over and over again as the voices in my head are so ingrained. 

I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.

This is a great reminder. Something I need to remember more and more.

There was so much wisdom, so much hope, and so much truth in this wonderful book. I am so glad I finally took the time to hear her story.


The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom (2.5 stars):  The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom is about Aliza who was raised as an Orthodox Jew and decides to take a different path at a crucial moment in her life. Her teen daughter finds out about her history and is having a hard time. The book is told in alternating chapters between then and now (about 16 years or so apart.)

There are a lot of layers to this book. As a Jew who grew up around Orthodox Jews, many of the parts of the book weren’t surprising to me but I know they might be to some readers and it’s an important part of the story that somehow doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the blurbs. 

At its core, this is a book is about choice and loss and the complexity of relationships and understanding who you are, what your place is, how you’ve been raised and what that means about who you get to be. There were parts of the book that made me think deeply about choice and how each time we choose to “stray” no matter how far, we give up a little bit of our belonging and how hard that can be.

I think this book had the potential to be deep and complex but it seemed to want to stay lighter and maybe this is why it didn’t impact me as deeply as it could have. Aliza makes deep changes in her life in this book and while some of the confusion that could cause is explored, it all stays mostly on the surface. She makes major changes and it’s as if they are not that impactful. Some parts of the story have levity that just didn’t resonate with me. And her relationship with Alex was just off. Maybe because we don’t really get to know much of Alex except for a conversation towards the very end of the book. He stays reasonably 2-dimensional. Of course, we find out so much more about Aliza since she’s narrating the book so that might also account for the lack of balance between the development of the two characters.

But there’s still much to love about this book. Especially her relationship with her grandfather, her relationship with her brother and her best friend. There are some profound conversations (there were parts where the dialogue just felt stilted and off to me but then parts where it was spot on.) and the author is not afraid to tackle deep, scary topics like infertility, domestic abuse, adultery, and more. 

Maybe that’s why it was a hard novel to read because there were so many real bits to this book that were serious and hard and some parts where it felt like the monumental impact of all that wasn’t handled as seriously as it could have been. But then again I still enjoyed reading it and I got attached to Aliza/Eliza even as I was rooting for her at times and scolding her at other times. This Jewish mom couldn’t help herself 🙂

with gratitude to netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.


After (2.5 stars):  Ok so I knew going into this one that it would not be good. I had already read that the writing would be bad, the relationship was toxic, and it was just going to be bad, bad, bad. 

So maybe that lowered my expectations enough. I knew I likely might want to see the movie and I also knew that I don’t watch movies unless I read the book. I’ve heard people rant about Twilightfor the same type of reasons and I liked those books and I also heard people rant about Fifty Shades of Greyand I couldn’t read that book to save my life. 

The book this reminds me the most is actually is Beautiful Disaster which has a similar toxic relationship with angry boy/sweet innocent girl at its core. I listened to this on audio at 3x and basically listened to it all the way through. 

Maybe knowing what to expect and listening instead of reading made me more generous towards the writer.


99 Percent Mine (4 stars): Meh I think Sally Thorne is just not for me. I wasn’t able to read The Hating Game despite trying a few times. So I am not sure what made me want to read this today. I figured after finishing After the bar was pretty low. But alas, this book just wasn’t all that interesting to me. The characters weren’t interesting and nor was the plot. 

I know many people said The Hating Game is much better so maybe I should go back and try that. But I think it’s time for a break from Romance for now.


Digital Minimalism (3 stars):  I’ve been a fan of Cal Newport for quite some time. So, even though I wasn’t sure there was anything major this book would offer me, I wanted to read it because he’s smart and thoughtful and I knew there’d be some ideas I might be able to incorporate. 

I wasn’t mistaken.

This book is a good read if you’re spending a lot of time on social media and are ready to do something about it. It’s not radical or extremist. I has some good ideas on how to move slowly away from using it too much. 

I already do some of the ideas in this book. I keep my phone on “do not disturb” pretty much the whole time. I use Facebook only on my desktop and only on one of them so I check it about once a week at best and generally for about 15 minutes. I don’t use Twitter at all. I rarely spend time on Netflix anymore. My one “social network” is instagram and even that is mostly filled with bookstagrammers. Even there, I rarely spend more than 4-5 mins before I am disengaged. 

All of this sounds/looks good on the surface except for the fact that I read or listen to books all the time. I rarely have absolutely silent time in my life. And Newport talks a lot about the value of silence and solitude. This one, I will have to think about for a while.


Liquid Rules (4 stars):  If you’re into science, this book is a gem.

It’s written by a material scientist and the story is told on a flight from London to San Francisco, ostensibly focusing on all the liquids on board but it’s really just a premise to tell the stories he wants to tell. The fact that he was on board a flight was cute but seemed contrived a bit at parts. But I didn’t really care because the science and stories were super interesting to me. 

This book has 12 chapters, each chapter focusing on a different substance like glue, ink, etc. I loved the bits about how candles work and how the wick pulls water up against the force of gravity. I learned about how the World Trade Centers buckled due to the strength of the steel decreasing under such high heat and then putting pressure on the lower floors, etc. And how flavor is a multi-sensory experience (and how we assume and ‘can taste’ flavors related to the color.) I also loved reading how icarus story wouldn’t be possible because it gets colder when you fly higher 🙂 I loved learning about ballpoint pens and how they work (and how amazing they are!!) and about tar and all the interesting new innovations they are making to help the roads last longer.

There is just so much fascinating science in this book. Highly enjoyable. 

thanks to netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


When You Read This (3.5 stars):  This cute novel is told in emails/texts/blog posts etc. It goes back and forth in time so if that’s something that will frustrate you, beware. I really enjoyed this sweet little novel. I liked the characters, and the way the story was told.

Having said that, I am not sure how much of it will stay with me over time. But sometimes, that’s ok.


Organic Painter (4 stars): This book is one of the most unusual art books I’ve read and considering my 80+ collection of art books, that’s a lot to say. I’ve even taken classes using unusual materials before and have used tea in my art before, too.

But this artist has such an unusual style of painting that I couldn’t help but be awed with the result. I tried to recreate some of the amazing art in this book and it was quickly apparent to me that I will need a lot more practice. But I am super intrigued and am looking forward to experimenting more.

My favorite section was the combining of embroidery floss with the art. I’d seen some of that before but the artist put the floss on the page, painted around it, then removed it to create whitespace, and then added floss to another section. 

The art in these pages is layered, flowing, organic and detailed and complex. You can see something different from afar vs up close. You can look for a long time and find some small new interesting bit each time. 

If you want a challenge and a way to really shake up the way you do art, this is a great find.


Happy Money (4 stars):  I’ve had an interesting relationship with money. Even though I’ve been lucky enough to have enough of it all my life, I still have a lot of anxiety around it, especially around providing for my family. I think the anxiety is not serving me but I haven’t really figured out a way to resolve it. So when I saw this book, I was excited to see what it could teach me. 

I’ve highlighted many, many sections of this book and of course I am not “healed” but it has given me a lot of food for thought. It focuses a lot on what the author calls your money EQ. I will say that if you’re looking for how to invest your money or if you have serious money problems, I would not start with this book. It focuses very much on your emotional relationship with money. 

There are several sections around how our approach to money and our feelings about it have a lot to do with how we were raised and how our parents approached it which gave me a lot of pause. On the surface, I don’t remember any tension around money in my house hold. But as I dig deeper, there’s a lot there that I still have to really excavate my way through. 

By checking whatever feeling you project onto money, you can recognize your own emotional baggage. If you can do that, you can see money clearly.

And that’s always the crux of everything, isn’t it. Food, money, so many of the essentials of life and how we treat them and how we think of them is intertwined with our emotional baggage. 

I’m a big saver, so this quote really resonated with me:

In other words, we want to have something to show for our life’s work. We want it to mean something.

certainly true for me.

There is a whole section around gratitude and thanking the money for coming and thanking the money when spending it. I love this idea and have to do it more. The cultivation of gratitude and abundance and the feeling of having enough. 

There are also things I’ve read before: spending money on experiences, doing something i love and am good at to make more money, being willing to receive chances/opportunities given to me, make friends, don’t compare with others, make your own rules, etc.

There is the reaffirmation that no matter how much I save, it will not erase the unease I feel. (not what I want to hear, even though i know it to be true, and yet another parallel to body issues.) The fear is not related to money, it’s about life in general.

There’s a wonderful story about a candy factory where there’s a song playing with kids who say thank you so the people who work there remember what they are doing it for. I loved this idea of remembering what it’s for. It’s something I can do more at my work: remembering the users we make happy each day. 

I loved this too:

What would someone watching you say is important to you based on the way you act in your daily life?

I try to live by this so often. I spend time with my kids, my husband, etc. But I also fail more than I’d like. Often not on behalf of money but books, art, doing the things I want to do.

There’s also a reminder that fear and anxiety is often about fear of the future and what we fear usually doesn’t become reality and yet we waste so much energy on worrying. I certainly do. 

At the last chapter, he lists all five steps to happy money: shift out of the scarcity mindset, forgive and heal your money wounds, discover your gifts and get into the flow of happy money, trust life, say arigato all the time. My favorite is “trust life.” 

We know that everything that happens, positive or negative, will end up working out to support our lives in its own unique way. This is what frees us from the paralyzing anxiety of judging things in ur lives as “good” and “bad.” This is why trusting people are more passionate and successful.

When we trust, we are able to become our authentic selves.

I need to remember this again and again. Trust life.

Trust life. And say thank you.

thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review


Look Closer, Draw Better (4 stars):  If there’s one thing I could snap my fingers and become, it’s a person who can see like an artist. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to become better at drawing but my ability to slow down and really see isn’t really all that great. I do everything fast and drawing is no exception. 

If you have a ton of art books at home, like I do, this book doesn’t really contain anything shockingly new. But there are two takeaways from my time with this lovely book.

1. Start practicing again. I used to draw daily but I gave it up. Getting better is about practice. She recommends having a 15-minutes a day practice. She recommends all the things I hate doing: blind contour, contour, etc but alas there’s a reason those are recommended again and again. It’s about training your hands, training your eyes. It’s about getting out of your head (where I live so much of the time and it doesn’t really serve me when drawing.) so 15 minutes a day it is. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes?

2. Slow down. Go in layers, start with the light and build up. Slow down. Look. I feel the need to say it again: slow down.

Much of this book is graphite and charcoal and ink. I wanted to see the watercolor projects and they didn’t disappoint. I found the steps more broken down than usual in most of the books I have on hand and I really appreciated that.

If you want some inspiration to take you back to the basics and remind you the core elements of how to create solid drawings, this is the book for you.

thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review


Things My Son Needs to Know about the World (5 stars):  I’ve been a Fredrik Backman fan for quite some time. I didn’t start with A Man Called Ove like many others did. I read that book and thought it was okay. I didn’t dislike it but I also wasn’t blown away like many seemed to be. And I thought that was going to be it between me and Fredrik Backman. I figured I’d given him a chance and it was okay but nothing to write home about.

Then, a few years ago, my friend K told me I had to read My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and I said “Oh, I’ve read that author before, I’m not a huge fan.” But she insisted that this book was different and I was going to love it. I rarely turn down book recommendations and I really like my friend K so I decided to give it a shot.

I didn’t get up from the chair the whole time I read that book. I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t believe someone could write like that.

Thus began my journey to read everything Fredrik Backmanhas written since. His ability to weave wisdom and depth into his characters and his stories is unparalleled. His stories touch my soul and connect with me in the best ways a book can.

This book is written for his son and it’s full of short stories and really short stories about lessons he imparts and really funny anecdotes from when his son was a newborn. It’s personal and nonfiction but yet it’s full of his magical stories, his sense of humor and his deep, magical way of connecting with his readers on things that matter.

My favorite part, of course, was the Money Island 3 solution. As a fan of Lucasfilms games, that made me laugh out loud. There are so many bits of my childhood in this book. So many ways in which I could relate to the author as a person. I am delighted to find that this author whose books I love also seems to be a wonderful person. (Not that I am all that surprised.)

Many bits of this book reminded me of Nick Hornby whom I also love. If you haven’t read Backman before, I would have to recommend you start with My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and then I am pretty confident that you will feel compelled to make your way through everything he’s ever written. Then you’ll finally end up on this one and you’ll have a giant smile when you find out the person behind all those books is as hilarious and magical as you hoped he would be. 

big thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in return for an honest review


And there we go, a really solid week of reading. Here’s to another fantastic 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!

Stories from 2019 – 09

This story is about an offsite we had for work that I helped organize.

Here are two more stories from my 2018 album. The content for these comes from the “seasons” kit. 

This one is about things going on at work. the 20th anniversary and the walkout.

Stories from 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. Everything on the pages is from Ali’s Story Kits unless mentioned otherwise.

Everyday Magic – 09

Weekly Intention:  This is going to be a hectic week. I have catch up work from last week, all the email I haven’t read, two presentations for my manager, three documents to write and perf. So a ton of work. Thankfully it’s pretty quiet outside of work during the week. The weekend will be dominated by STEM Fair. My intention this week is to be really productive. I’d like to be able to focus on work, make some solid strides and feel good about it. And then focus on David for his Fair. 

This month’s intention is: Works like Magic:  This is your month to get things done. Step it up a notch at work. Step it up at home. Take the steps you’ve been meaning to take. Book those vacations, classes, etc, make plans. Ok so we did David’s birthdays and ski week trip. On my plate still is: spring break, Nathaniel’s birthday trip, summer vacation, and the taxes. Maybe i can tackle taxes this week. I know this means we end February without the other 3 but I will keep them on my list till they are done.

One way I will show up this week:  focused, kind, open, grateful.

One magic I will make this week: i will do one fun thing once perf is over.

This week, I will pay attention to: how i can get more done in less time

This week, I will be kinder to: my wonderful husband

This week, I will focus on pleasing:  some of the work requirements. 

One new thing I will learn this week: how i can be even kinder. how i can back down and rile up.

I am looking forward to:  being done with perf. getting some work done. starting our taxes.

This week’s challenges: a bunch of work.

Top Goals: 

  • Work: iterate on march monthly, send the email, write the three docs i want to work on, do perf.
  • Personal: keep up with journaling + art + yoga, restart pushups, and do a hike.
  • Family:  do math with N. Do ML or physics with D. Spend time with J. Hike together. Cook dinner. 

I will focus on my values:

  • Love:  love for my husband.
  • Learn: how to get work done fast and efficiently.
  • Peace: peace with perf.
  • Service:  to work and to David this week.
  • Gratitude: gratitude for my life. 

This week, I want to remember:  that I am so lucky for my life. that things are going well. that i want to celebrate and i want to move into deep deep gratitude.


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

Weekly Reflection 2019 – 08

Magic I Saw this Week: This week was full of magic. We drove from the Bay Area to Manhattan Beach and we left in pouring rain and arrived in full sunshine. The views were all magic. Our lovely hotel room with space for everyone was magic. All the walking we did was magic. The google offices were magical. The sea was amazing and the views were magical. And of course San Diego was a special magic of its own. 

Magic I Made this Week:  I took my family on vacation. We went to Venice Beach, to Google Venice Beach, to San Diego Zoo, on a wonderful hike to the top of Los Angeles and to Hollywood Boulevard. We took time together. It really was magical.

Magic of Me that I explored Week: Hmm not much this week except for OLW journaling in my new journal. Reconnecting with my word. Actually I also read a book on money which really helped me think a lot and shift my perspective.

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work: didn’t do any work this week.
  • Personal: did not keep up with journaling + did some art + did some yoga, did not do pushups, and we hiked.
    Family: we had fun. we worked with the kids but i didn’t work on taxes.

I celebrate: our lovely vacation.

I am grateful for: some time off work. it felt short but it was great. 

This week, I exercised: i did yoga most days and that was it. some hiking, too, of course.

Self-care this week: hmm let’s go ahead and say vacation was self-care :). 

I showed up for:  hmmm not sure this week. 

I said yes to: as many things as i could this week.

I said no to:  doing work, i just didn’t want to. i will work harder this coming week.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace: i am embracing some of my thoughts and also shifting i think.
  • Alive: vacation really helps me feel alive.
  • Lighter: i feel lighter after vacation.
  • Kinder:  kinder. i am always always thinking i want to be kinder.
  • Surrender: i need to surrender more. especially with everything i can’t control.

What I tolerated this week: a lot of time in the car.

My mood this week was: quiet but grateful.

I am proud of:  all of us for having a lovely vacation with no fighting.

I forgive myself for: not being chirpy.

Here’s what I learned this week: i can grow and i can change my perspective.

What I love right now:  a few more days off before work takes over.


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

Moments of Gratitude – 08

still managing to write daily, I am happy to get to do this.

Here’s week six, still able to keep up with daily gratitudes and my magic list on the weekends. 

a lot of david’s birthday here. there were so many photos i added an extra page.
love all the love around david’s birthday.
this page is him with his friends at his little party.
and more birthday photos as well as conference photos at school.

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 – 07

joy can be found in tiny moments. pay attention.

These are small pieces I do at work or at home at night to help remind me why I love doing art. 


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 – 08










An okay week of reading this week. Some great, some less great.  Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! 


The Lost Man (4 stars):   Mystery doesn’t tend to be my favorite genre. Usually novels with a major mystery in their core tend to be very plot driven and don’t spend much time on character development, especially on side characters. I prefer stories with rich, deep character development. 

Over the years, I’ve found a handful of exceptions to this rule. Mystic River was one of the first books I read where the character development was deep and rich. I’ve read several other Dennis Lehane novels and he seems to be reasonably consistent with taking the time to develop his characters and such deepen his novels.

Jane Harper is the same way and then more. Her novels are full of rich, 3-dimensional characters, atmospheric plot that is almost another character itself, and beautiful dialogue. There is a mystery at the heart of each of her novels, too, but that’s just the icing on the cake instead of being the cake itself.

Harper’s novels are a joy to read. The audio is often hard for me to follow because the narrator is Australian but that makes it even more authentic, of course.

Looking forward to many more novels from this wonderful author.


The Silent Patient (3 stars):  This book was a super fast read. I know others got into it really quickly whereas I found myself being relatively apathetic the whole time until the twist came together. Having just finished Jane Harper’s new novel, I think I had even less patience for a novel like this than usual. 

If fast-paced, thrillers with a twist is your thing, you will enjoy this book. If you’re in a slump and can’t find a next novel to get you out of it, this might be a good one to go with. 


More than Words (3 stars):  If you’ve read The Light We Lost, you’re likely already familiar with Jill Santopolo’s novels. More than Words is in the same vein. 

It’s about people finding themselves, learning truths about the people they love, facing the truths about their own lives and triggered by events, choosing to finally step into the life they want to have. It’s not a badly written book, it’s just not a book I will remember for a long time. 

The characters are fine, just not deeply 3-dimensional. They won’t last with me. But I still enjoyed reading this little book.


The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green (4.5 stars):  What an absolute gem of a book. This story took me a while to get into, I kept reading a few pages at a time and not really connecting with it but I finally sat down today to give it a full hour and I was sucked right into the story.

This is one of my favorite kind of novels. There’s some plot but really what carries the novel is the rich, layered, 3-dimensional characters. The story is told in rotating chapters from three different characters’ points of view. And they all felt real, complicated, and wonderful to me.

There are so many sweet, quiet moments in this book. Moments of everyday life. Beautiful descriptions:

Nesssa was always like her father, all emotion and action bundled together by translucent skin. She’s a cluster of raw nerves shooting pain and joy alike straight to her heart, and it was my job to sheathe them all, to shield her.

It was long and wordy in places but by that time, I didn’t mind at all because I had grown to love these characters and wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. All the interesting crop circle plotline was icing on this beautiful cake.

Absolutely loved this one.

huge thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in return for an honest review.gratitudes to netgalley and the publisher for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Plotters (3 stars):  This was an unusual novel. 

I have been exploring reading a wider variety of authors and I thought the plot of this Korean novel sounded really interesting so I was curious to read it.

While I didn’t really find myself getting into the story as much as I would have liked to, there were a handful of really interesting characters. One thing I’ve noticed is that this novel had a different rhythm. It was quieter, less explosive, especially for a novel about hired killers. It felt very matter of fact. Not too much dwelling on emotions/drama etc. 

I enjoyed reading it especially because it was different for me.


And there we go, not as many as usual but next week’s vacation so hopefully it will pick up. Here’s to a fantastic 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!

Stories from 2019 – 08

This story is just about our everyday and what I’m learning about our life.

Here are two more stories from my 2018 album. The content for these comes from the “learn” and “light” kits. 

This one is about learning to exercise and working to get stronger day by day.

Stories from 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. Everything on the pages is from Ali’s Story Kits unless mentioned otherwise.

Everyday Magic – 08

Weekly Intention:  Yay for vacation week. We will be in and out of town this week. All of us hanging out together and enjoying each others’ company. I have some work I want to get done but I expect to be off most of the week. My intention is to go on adventures, to rest a lot, to do art, and to journal some, in that order. I want to see if I can use this week to ground myself a bit. Be super super super kind to my family, too.

This month’s intention is: Works like Magic:  This is your month to get things done. Step it up a notch at work. Step it up at home. Take the steps you’ve been meaning to take. Book those vacations, classes, etc, make plans. Ok so we did David’s birthdays! We also booked ski week trip. We have some plans/ideas for summer. On my plate still is: spring break, Nathaniel’s birthday trip, summer vacation, and the taxes. 

One way I will show up this week:  rest and relax. i will try super hard to be easygoing.

One magic I will make this week: go on adventures together.

This week, I will pay attention to: hugging my family more and being the kindest i can be.

This week, I will be kinder to: everyone!!

This week, I will focus on pleasing:hmm everyone and no one. just will take it easy.

One new thing I will learn this week: how i can be more easygoing 🙂

I am looking forward to:  vacation!

This week’s challenges: just a lot of driving and rain. but i am hoping we will be ok still.

Top Goals: 

  • Work: iterate on march and monthly and email 3 and then the three docs i want to work on.
  • Personal: keep up with journaling + art + yoga, pushups, and a hike.
  • Family:  have fun!! work with the kids, work on taxes but mostly have fun!

I will focus on my values:

  • Love:  love for my family and vacations.
  • Learn: what i’m craving
  • Peace: peace with perf.
  • Service:  to our vacation and to time off.
  • Gratitude: gratitude for some time off. 

This week, I want to remember:  that time passes so so fast. i told my mom last week that she was 42 when i moved to the united states and now i am 44. time flies. i want to make memories and stories and MAGIC.


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

Weekly Reflection 2019 – 07

Magic I Saw this Week: This wee was magic of seeing David and his friends celebrate his birthday. The magic of his STEM fair poster coming together and working side by side with him on his code. Magic of Nathaniel and doing math together. Magic of cuddling on the couch with Jake and watching Marvelous Ms. Meisel together. Magic of working from home especially when it rains. Magic of reading and flowers and yoga, always. 

Magic I Made this Week:  I worked from home on Wednesday this week when it was pouring rain and it was so much more calming. I also tried to come home early every day and was able to pull it off all days except one. I spent a lot of time helping David with his STEM project. A lot of time prepping for his birthday party. I booked our vacation. I did some art and some journaling and some yoga and a lot of reading.

Magic of Me that I explored Week: I talked to my manager a bit this week so that was good. I also tried to come up with a plan to shift my perspective.

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work: started plans for march, also did initial prep for monthly, i did my part for email 2.
  • Personal: i so so kept up with journaling + did some art + did daily yoga, only a few pushups, went to gym twice.
  • Family:  did a bunch of ML with david  and math with nathaniel. did not cook for Jake. did family photos and celebrations. david’s birthday was our adventure.

I celebrate: being done with david’s stem fair prep work.

I am grateful for: speaking up and for working from home on Wednesday. 

This week, I exercised: I’ve done yoga every morning and I also went to body pump once, and a full yoga class at work. Did not keep proper track of push ups this week :/

Self-care this week: Still journaling a bit, sleeping so-so, didn’t hike this week, and leaving work as early as possible to work from home as much as possible. Still need to work on nutrition. 

I showed up for:  David. 

I said yes to: buying the OLW journal which i wanted to do for weeks now.

I said no to:  going to work in pouring rain when i didn’t have to.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace: i am embracing how I feel. I still plan to go all out and really journal my heart out. :/
  • Alive: helping david while a lot of work is how i come alive.
  • Lighter: it feels so much lighter knowing i have vacation coming up.
  • Kinder:  i am trying hard to be kind. to myself, too.
  • Surrender: i have been reminding myself to surrender especially as i do yoga in the mornings.

What I tolerated this week: a lot of last minute work for David, a lot of rain. 

My mood this week was: a little numb i think.

I am proud of:  my husband. he injured his hand and can’t climb and he’s taking it all like a champ

I forgive myself for: still getting more excitable than i’d like at times.

Here’s what I learned this week: i am resilient. i am also appreciated.

What I love right now:  i love watching Ms. Meisel with Jake.


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