Everyday Magic – 44

Weekly Intention: So with the exception of graceful transitions I didn’t do my two intentions of having conversations with my manager about the next six months and spending some serious time journaling and figuring out my plans for 2020. So those are still on deck. So is seriously cleaning out my calendar and becoming more intentional. I have a full week this week so if things don’t work out, i intend to be generous with myself, too.

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 would like to think more about bringing magic to my clothes and making a magical moment every day!

One way I will show up this week:  present.

One magic I will make this week: last week’s plans didn’t really work out. maybe this week i can walk daily?

This week, I will pay attention to: my team.

This week, I will be kinder to: myself. i seem to really need it.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: my team

One new thing I will learn this week: how the kids are doing

I am looking forward to: parent/teacher conferences

This week’s challenges: just a lot going on this week. long Monday.

Top Goals: 

  • Work: yes to nbu email. stay on top of email. clean up calendar aggressively. finish perf. make 6-mo plan. team summit.
  • 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. conferences.

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: love that it’s getting closer to christmas.
  • Learn: learn to stop triggering so much. (this one bears repeating.)
  • Peace: with my life.
  • Service: to 2020.
  • Gratitude: for so much.

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 – 43

Magic I Saw this Week: I’ve been in a funk for the last few weeks and trying to find ways to slowly get out of it. I haven’t been super successful yet so the Looking for Magic has suffered accordingly.

Magic I Made this Week: I spent a bunch of time working with Nathaniel and I took Friday off which was the best kind of magic especially since it meant I got to see my friend Evelyn and my friend Kelly all in one day.

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

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

  • Work: did not send nbu email. sort of stayed on top of email. did not yet clean up calendar aggressively. did final perf. did setup perf meetings. did not make 6-mo plan.
  • Personal: did daily drawing, exercise, did not journal, sort of made time to sleep. did not come up with a whitney plan. not sure if i did restart the meal plan. did not make 2020 plan.
  • Family:  did family photos, hugged kids. did not date night with jake. did not hike, but walked.

I celebrate: having Friday off

I am grateful for: books which have been my haven

This week, I exercised: i went rock climbing with jake and went to body pump and took a 3mile walk.

Self-care this week: took Friday off, met with friends

I showed up for: i honestly can’t think of anything.

I said yes to: coming home and not doing work.

I said no to: staying up late.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Embrace:  still working on embracing the ups and downs of my emotions lately.
  • Alive: remembering to go out as often as i can.
  • Lighter: i am not feeling particularly light.
  • Kinder: i think i need to take a serious step back and revisit this area of my life.
  • Surrender: there’s so much surrendering every day

What I tolerated this week: just this mood

My mood this week was: off.

I am proud of: doing all the perf conversations.

I forgive myself for: everything

Here’s what I learned this week: being a woman is challenging

What I love right now: i love my life and keep trying to find a way to appreciate it more.


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

Moments of Gratitude – 37

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 – 42

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 – 43

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.


Little Weirds (no rating): “In the last light of a long day, I sit on a chair on my porch and watch the sky drain colors down and out and I realize I want to hear my voice and only mine. Not the voice of my voice within a cacophony of old pains. Just mine, now.”

I am loath to ever give a book a low number of stars, especially a memoir. Books are so much work and come from a place deep in one’s soul. And who am I to judge that? And at the same time, there are books that connect with me and books that don’t. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the book, or me. It just means that at this juncture of our lives, in this moment, this book and I are not connecting. And instead of attaching a bad rating to that, I decided to give it no rating.

“I was pleased that she made sure. Because in making sure, Kathleen gave me the opportunity to say out loud to another person that I would like my old dog to have flowers stuck to his face, and when I said it out loud—that yes, I would like that—I knew it was true. Then I admired myself. What’s more, I felt tenderness about my personality and my choices for delight. I said who I was, on my land.”

I didn’t know anything about Jenny Slate before I read this book. I don’t watch the TV show she’s famous for and I had no idea what to expect from this book. It’s a most unusual style. I’d say if you don’t like magical realism, you will have a tough time with this book but I love magical realism and yet I still had a tough time. It’s maybe more on the eclectic/absurd as well as magical realism. 

“I know what I want to hear when I hear myself in this life, and I am feeling very certain that there is absolutely no good reason to ever be disrespectful, no matter how upset you are. I do not need to hear bullying voices ever again and there is no reason to ever do that sort of emotional violence to anyone.”

There were definitely beautiful and resonant moments in it. Thoughts around loneliness, belonging, and kindness. And I will remember these and leave the others.

With gratitude to netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Library of Lost and Found (3.5 stars): I took this book out of the library at least five or six times before I finally sat down and read it. I have no idea why. I think I thought this was going to be much quirkier than it actually was. While the main character was a bit on the unusual side, this story is really a family story. It’s about keeping secrets, it’s about being a wife, it’s about feeling a lack of belonging and it’s about how we find ourselves constantly seeking some lost thing when we have that feeling of not belonging. Or at least, that’s what it was for me. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to.


The Art of Watercolor Lettering (3.5 stars): If one could get good at something by reading books on it, my brush lettering would be incredible by now. I have read so many books on this topic that I could probably get a degree on it if it didn’t mean I had to actually do some. I wasn’t sure what new I was expecting from this book but here’s how it surprised me:

– it’s definitely a beginner book: she breaks down the letters into families so you know how to practice each set. she walks you step by step. She gives many many many practice pages at the end of the book.

– it has both variety and fun: she might have preferences in her tools. but this might be one of the first watercolor books i read that actually mentioned watercolor pencils (which is my favorite medium.) which I loved. She has fun wreath ideas, fun ways to combine paint and use brush pens, etc, too.

– it encourages practice: this was my reminder to self that without actually sitting down and practicing, it’s unlikely I will ever get good at it. To encourage this, she has many different types of practice pages that you can simply trace. 

Overall, if you love the idea of watercolor lettering and you’re a solid beginner, I recommend this one.

Thank you to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


Rewilding (4 stars): “Go and sit by a babbling brook and focus on the sound of the water. Listen to the sound of the wind. Gaze out over the ocean and listen to the rhythm of the water. Sit by a crackling fire and smell the aroma of smoke of dry pine branches popping as they release the stored light of the sun. Place your palms on warm concrete and feel the stable earth element beneath it supporting you. Ponder a dandelion growing nobly through a crack of concrete. Society may be telling us that we need more, always more, but stop and listen to what the earth and sky are trying to tell us. Take a deep breath and empty your mind as you exhale. Look around and receive the miracle of this moment. You are enough.”

I pick a word of the year each year in an effort to look at life through the lens of that word. My word for 2020 will be “wild” so when I saw this book, I knew it would be a great foray into embracing my word. 

And I was not disappointed.

This book is connecting back with nature in a slow, thoughtful, and mindful way. It has meditations, some history of when we used to be connected to the earth so much more, some recommendations on how to be more ready for being in the wild (like building a fire, etc.) and some really small, easy things you can do to reconnect purposefully. 

People say that what we’re all seeking a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. Joseph Campbell

More than any one section, what spoke to me is the sentiment of the book and the way it made me feel. As I was reading, I could almost smell, hear and feel the outdoors. I was itching to sink my feet into the earth and feel the breeze on my face. I made several notes of the guidebooks I want to get, survival skills I want to learn, and most importantly to find a way to connect with nature every single day. 

I can already feel the invitation of the wild and the calmness it always creates in me. I look forward to reading this book again and again throughout 2020 as I embrace my word and nature.

with gratitude to netgalley and Sounds True for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


Royal Holiday (3.5 stars): Jasmine Guillory books are never not fun. While I thought the last one in the series was not as awesome as the previous ones, I enjoyed this one a lot more. I read the whole book in one sitting, enjoyed both the royal setting and Vivian and Malcolm as characters. It was fun to read a romance story about older characters for a change. I liked the character development, the side plots with the nephew and daughter and just found myself enjoying the story. And how can you go wrong with a holiday theme?


The Chain (3 stars): The reviews of this book scared me. Did I really want to read a book on parents chain kidnapping other parents’ kids? Yikes. I waited for several months before I finally decided yesterday that I was in the mood for something fast paced and crazy. And so I grabbed this one. It was fast paced and it was crazy. I feel the beginning was stronger than the end. It kind of all became not interesting to me by the end but I did like that it fully wrapped up. I think while the execution was pretty good, too, this is one of those books where the plot idea is one you won’t forget.


The Future of Another Timeline (3.5 stars): What an unusual novel. I really enjoyed this story and the way the plot went back and forth. It would have been 100% my cup of tea except for some of the pacing and character development which I felt was too slow and too shallow. The book was too long with too much going on. I know the author did a lot of research and I really enjoyed the real-life connections but even if she had simplified it a bunch it would have made for a very interesting novel without some of the noise. Even with all that, I really enjoyed my time with it and I am very glad I read it.


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 – 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.