MY EXCITEMENT IS BUBBLING

photo 3This photo has nothing to do with my new site, I just really love it. Haha!

Happy Friday, friends!

I am so excited for my new website to launch on Monday, I can hardly contain myself!  Haha! I’ve had a few people ask some questions, so I thought I would clarify today, before Monday rolls around.

Q: Will I still be able to go to your same site (The Happy, Healthy Balance) to read your blog?

A: Absolutely!  My domain name is not changing, therefore you can keep going to where you normally go.  Fingers crossed, this is going to be a completely seamless transition. 🙂

Q: Will all of your older posts be on the new website?

A: Yes, everything is transferring over.

Q: Are you going to be changing your blog content, or heading in a new direction?

A: Yes and no.  The content will still be the same, but I am working really hard to go deeper both personally and professionally, so the content may just be even more authentic as time goes on.

Q: Are you going to have all of your recipes organized?

A: This one made me giggle, because it was one of the top things I wanted done.  So yes, they will be completely organized my category.  I’m really excited about this part!

Q: Who designed your new site?

A: The amazing Rachel Cox at Oh, Simple Joys.  You guys, I am not just saying this because I love my new site, but Rachel is seriously a gem to work with.  She is so kind, super creative, and detail oriented.  Plus, I feel like she really “gets” what I am saying even when I’m not sure how to fully translate my style and how I want everything to feel.  Does that make sense?  I highly recommend her!

In case you forgot about my color and design inspiration behind my new site, here it is…

IMG_1162I hope you all have a fantastic weekend doing whatever it is that makes your heart content!  I have a super fun and magical day planned with my bestie tomorrow.  Any guesses where we might be going?

xo.  Jen

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LIFE LATELY

Dad and JenDad and I, circa 2013

Hi beauties!

As I shared on Friday, I sort of fell off the blogging world, and took a few weeks off from posting.  It wasn’t exactly planned either…

I’ll start by saying that my Dad gave me full permission to share. 

I got an early morning group text (to my brothers and I) from my Mom on 3/22 basically saying, “Say a prayer for your Dad, I’m taking him to the ER.  He’s been having back pain.”  I really didn’t react too strongly, but rather said a quick prayer, and texted back: “What’s going on?  Maybe he needs an adjustment [chiropractor]?”  I should have prefaced first by saying that both my parents have always been healthy, aren’t on any medications, and neither complain of “aches and pains.”  They’re blessed (still are), and I am so thankful for that.

So, I didn’t hear anything for a while, and the more I started to think about it (and because my Dad actually consented to going to the ER), I started to get a little worried.  I called my Mom while I was taking a lunch break, and she proceeds to say “The doctor thinks he had a heart attack, and they are admitting him.  He’ll have an angiogram in a few hours.”

Wait, what?!  Back up a second.  A heart attack? 

I immediately threw a bunch of random stuff in a bag, grabbed Charlie (Greg was out of town), hopped in the car, zipped up to Ventura, and went straight to the hospital.  Dad ended up having to have an angioplasty done and a stent put it.  This was all completely stressful and surreal for my Mom and I, and I could only imagine what was going on in my Dad’s head.  More happened over the course of the week, but really, none of it is that relevant at this point.  We are just happy my Dad is alive and doing well.  That is what’s most important.

All of this was very scary for our family, and really put life into perspective for each of us.  For me, it brought up a lot of anxiety that I didn’t know existed.  It was a horrible feeling, which was why taking a break from blogging was completely necessary.  The anxiety has slowly been dissipating, but for a while, it was as if I was on high alert 24/7.  I didn’t want to leave the room without my phone, I was constantly checking up on my family, and I hated that I was over an hour away from Ventura.  I kept questioning life, which was something that felt completely unnatural for me.

Dad and Jen 2Dad and I, circa 1988

Even though the heart attack was an awful experience that I don’t want to ever happen again, I feel blessed by the lessons learned, and even more blessed that my Dad is here and healthy. Love you, Dad!

Thank you all for being here, sharing this with me, and being a safe sounding board for vulnerability.  I appreciate you all!

xo.  Jen

PUSHING THROUGH FEAR

FullSizeRender (3)Happy Monday, friends!  Ahh…It feels so good to be back blogging.  I missed you!  In case you didn’t see Friday’s post, check it out here.

Today I wanted to share about something that I have been thinking about a lot lately: Fear. More importantly, pushing through your fears.  I will start by saying, that at least for me, pushing through my fears is often easier said than done.  It is definitely a process.

Needless to say, I’m not talking about healthy fears, like being scared of a bear, or going into soccer mom mode when you have to hit the brakes quickly while driving and throw your arm across the passenger (I can’t be the only person that does this?).  I’m talking about fears like staying in a consistently unhappy relationship (love, friendship, work-related, etc.) because it is easier than speaking up about what’s not working, or not making the next move in your career because you’re afraid of failing and not being good enough, or even not trying the yoga class that you’ve really been wanting to try but feel that you may be too fat to even try it.  Side note: These are all personal experiences that I have had in the past, which is how I know that fear shows up in so many areas of life.

Looking back, I have this huge laundry list of times that I was so fearful, that I just didn’t do something.  So many times, it’s ridiculous.  Part of me gets really frustrated at my younger-self and wants to shake her and say, “Wake the F up!  You are wasting so much time being fearful and unhappy!  This isn’t nearly as big of deal as you are making it!  YOU CAN DO IT!”  But then, I have this other part of me that knows that all of those fears were part of my process, and brought me to exactly where I am today.  And for that, I am profoundly grateful.

When I went to NYC last year for Holistic MBA Live, Stacey Morgenstern (one of the co-founders) said something that really stuck with me: “Fear is excitement on pause.”  I look at that as if the momentum of joy has just momentarily frozen in time, and is waiting for the right moment to melt and unfold.  Isn’t that such a wonderfully different way to look at fear?  I thought so!

“Fear is excitement on pause.”

Don’t get me wrong, fear still comes up for me constantly.  However, now I look at it differently.  I take a deeper look and try to recognize why it is showing up for me, and the lesson I am supposed to learn.  If the fear hasn’t subsided, I still try to push through it (sometimes this takes three minutes, sometimes this takes three months).  For example, my friend Jill and I were facilitating our Be-you-tiful YOU! workshop yesterday, and about two days before the workshop I started to get super fearful that not enough people would attend.  I kept questioning myself: What if no one shows up?  What if I have nothing important to say, and Jill has to carry the whole thing?  What if it goes chaotic and doesn’t flow?  What if, what if, what if???

Sunday morning I woke up and said to myself “Even if it’s just Jill and I, it’s going to be awesome and fun.  I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there and doing this!”  And guess what?  It was very well attended, we got great feedback, and it WAS awesome and fun!

My feeling is that even if something doesn’t go the way you planned, but you did it anyway, there is always triumph and success.  There is always an opportunity to learn and be grateful.

When is a time that you pushed through fear, and came out the other side with a great lesson? I’d love to hear!

xo.  Jen

 

HI! REMEMBER ME?!

IMG_1201Sea glass hunting a few weekends ago with my love

Happy Friday, beauties!  Remember me?  I used to blog here on a consistent basis (M/W/F to be precise), then dropped off the face of the blog world for about three weeks.  Ringing a bell? HA!

I could tell you all about the “stuff” that has been going on in my life (and probably will in the next few weeks), but honestly, I just don’t feel like typing it all out right now.  I recognize when a break is needed, and I am totally okay with it.  Honoring yourself looks different to everyone, and in this circumstance, it was stepping back from parts of my “normal-everyday-life,” and just relaxing as much as possible.  Can anyone relate to that?

IMG_1386Mother Nature showing off

Anyway, I am glad to be back, and have lots to share and go over!

With the time I took off from blogging, it really got my creative juices flowing.  I filled many pages with business ideas, creative endeavors, and blog post topics.  Over the next few weeks I have several planned posts, as well well as days where I left it open to be spontaneous, and write about whatever I feel like.  That feels so fun to me!

Side note: If you have any post requests, please send them in! 

IMG_1162Color and design inspiration for the new HHB, by Rachel at Oh, Simple Joys!

A few announcements:

  • My NEW website is almost finished, and I am soooo excited for the final product, and for you all to see it!  EEEK!!
  • My workshop, Be-you-tiful YOU! that I am co-facilitating with my sweet friend Jill is this Sunday in Ventura.  For more info on what it’s about, and/or to pre-register, click here.

IMG_1333Favorite dinner lately: roasted sweet potatoes, raw greens, and 6 minute eggs…YUM!

Thanks for all the love, and being the best readers ever!  You all are amazing, and I appreciate you!

IMG_1295Our handsome boy after he went to the groomers

We’re headed to Ventura later today to spend time with family, go to the beach, help friends unpack after their move, and facilitate the Be-you-tiful YOU! workshop.  What do you have in store this weekend?

xo.  Jen

 

HAPPY SPRING!

IMG_1063Happy Monday!

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and I found myself really thinking about the change from winter to spring (or summer to fall depending on where you live), but also the metaphor behind us merging into a new season.

Spring is a time of intention and new beginnings.  It’s a time where we plant seeds into the earth, and after a while seedlings start to rise and whatever we planted begins to mature.  With time, love, care, and essential elements like water and sunshine, towards the end of the season we have the fruits of our labor.

This is a season of new growth and change, a time where the light shines a little brighter and stays a little longer.  A time where we birth new ideas, take action, and achieve goals.

I sat down with a cup of coffee yesterday morning and really thought about the growth that I wanted to set in place for this coming season.  Here were a few of my intentions:

  •  Spend more time outdoors.  With the extra sunshine comes more time that can be spent in nature.  Whether that means taking a hike, going on walks, or even having dinner on the patio.
  • Less Netflix in the evening, more reading.  HA!  This made me laugh when I typed it out.  I am certainly not judging myself, however I did notice this last winter we spent more time in the evening watching Netflix.  Partially because it was dark, and partially because it was relaxing.  Moving into spring I’d like to substitute reading, if I feel like it.
  • Smoothies!  Mmm…I’m so excited for this!  I choose to eat as seasonally as possible, and for me, smoothies taste and feel so much better in the spring and summer.  Cool, light, and refreshing!
  • Move through my fears.  This is specifically related to my business.  There are a few things I have been wanting to do, but in the past fear has stopped me.  I feel ready and excited for what’s ahead!

What is your intention this season?  What ideas would you like to plant and see grow?

IMG_1067I encourage you to dig deep into your heart and ask yourself those questions, and any more that you may have.  If you have any further questions, I am here for additional support.

xo.  Jen

 

LOVE IS THE ANSWER

IMG_0841Hi friends!  I wasn’t going to share this because, in all honestly, I thought it was a bit of a downer.  But then I remembered what an open and safe space this is, and how grateful I am when people open up and are vulnerable with me.  So here it goes.

Do you ever have those days where the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders and in your heart?  Like no matter what you do, how much you volunteer, or what you give will ever be enough to heal the world?  I know, rather large expectations, but I’ve never been one to “think small.”

Over the course of the last few weeks I have cried more than I have had in a while (I am currently crying, as I am writing about crying–OY).  Sure, some of the tears shed were while watching a movie, but most of them were for real, tragic, and sad things.  Such as the reality that people I love and care about going through heartbreaking situations, like cancer and other awful diseases.  Or that I just happen to “stumble upon” websites and organizations that share how there are a countless number of animals (dogs in particular) on the streets or in shelters, and many of them wont get a forever home, and sadly will be sent to their forever-forever home. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the mixture of confusion and utter sadness I feel when I hear certain pseudo politicians speak about their presidential campaigns and the intentions they plan to execute once in office.

I finally got to the point where I couldn’t think about any of this anymore, and just started to meditate/pray.  These were the questions that I went into meditation with: What do we do when we feel this way?  How can we cope when we want answers to the unexplained?  How can we take action?  Side note: I say “we” because we’re all in this (life) together.

This was the answer I got to all three questions: LOVE.

Those four little letters were my answer to all three questions.  And isn’t that how it usually is? Isn’t love the common equalizer between all of us?  We are all capable of loving, and we are all capable of loving past our comfort zone too.  Loving strangers by giving a smile, loving our partners by spending more quality time with them, loving our bodies and treating them with kindness and respect,  loving people and circumstances we don’t understand and meeting them with a compassionate heart.

While I may have wanted an answer that would immediately solve the sadness I was experiencing (like sell all of our worldly possessions, buy a huge plot of land, and adopt every animal that needed a home), I’m pretty happy with the answer I received.

Don’t get me wrong, I will keep doing, keep volunteering, and keep giving.  But most importantly, I will keep loving, because there is always room for more love.

xo. Jen

FEELING FULL OF FEELINGS

FullSizeRender (3)Good morning!  Do you ever have those weekends where you do so much, but really nothing at all?  That was the type of weekend I had.  As I am reflecting over the past few days, I feel so full. So full of gratitude and joy, so full of compassion and empathy, so full I could actually burst into tears, and have a few times.

I don’t really feel the want to do a complete weekend recap, but simply to express how full I feel.  I am definitely one of those people that “feel all the feelings,” and while in the past I tried to hide my sensitivity and emotions, I now embrace them.  It feels so much more authentic that way.

Anyway, my weekend was spent with family and friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. It felt wonderful to connect and have conversations that we normally may not have had if certain circumstances hadn’t come up.  It was great to be of support to one another, and know that love is a bond that we all have in common.

It was joyous and fun to frolic at the beach with the dogs, and realize that nothing but the present moment matters.  Any stress dissipated, and all that I felt was joy.  Dogs and the ocean do it for me every time!

While at church on Sunday, I felt an immense amount of gratitude and connection.  The community at our center is less like group of people that comes together on Sunday, and more like a giant family that connects with one another throughout the week and on Sunday. The music was beautiful, the message was phenomenal, and the connection was so loving. Really grateful for our church!

IMG_0993I hope you all had a wonderful weekend doing whatever it is that brings you happiness!  Leaving you with the affirmation above for the week, and sending you all lots of love!

xo.  Jen

WEBSITE UPDATE

The Future HHBHi friends!  I am really excited to announce that within the next month or so I will be introducing you all to a brand new website!  I am SO excited!

This blog has served me well for almost two years (which is CRAZY to think about), but I am ready to upgrade to a more polished vibe.  I have a super awesome site designer that I have been working with, and I just love her creativity and imagination.  Can’t wait for the final project!

Thus far it has been mostly me determining what I want the future look of The HHB to be like. I had a really hard time deciding on colors and fonts, mainly because of how many options are out there.  Seriously, like a bajillion!  I did the numbers.  HA!  So, I did what I do best: made a list!  I came up with all of the styles, colors, fonts, and layouts that I love, then I brainstormed on what I wanted to feel when I came to the new site.  When it came to what I wanted to feel, I came up with this:

aNow, I could really use some feedback…

The Future HHB 2Please feel free to comment or email any ideas of feedback!  In the next few weeks I will share some more of the process and a few sneak peeks.  I really appreciate all of the love and support, and can’t wait to hear your input!

xo.  Jen

WEEKEND RECAP #39

Hi friends!

Before I jump into my weekend recap, I wanted to let you all know that I currently have two coaching spaces available for the month of March.  If health and/or spiritual coaching is something that you’re interested in, or simply have curiosity about, now is a perfect time to reach out.  Learn more about my services here, and find out what working together looks like here.  Looking forward to having a conversation with you! 🙂

This post is dedicated to Greg.  He constantly tells me how much he loves my Weekend Recaps, because it reminds him of what we did and our time together.  So sweet!

Friday afternoon started with me getting a new laptop and playing with it for the majority of the evening.  Love it!  We also watched a few episodes of the new season of House of Cards.  Did anyone else start it?  I’m excited for this season!

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FullSizeRender_1Saturday morning I made us breakfast burritos before we headed out of the house for errands. We dropped off a bunch of stuff at Goodwill, went to TJ’s for groceries, and stopped at T-Pumps for tea with boba (Greg’s current obsession, HA).

FullSizeRender_2Later that afternoon Emma came down to visit, and requested my Tikka Masala.  I made that, and we had it with naan.  SO good!  As you can see, we sipped champagne too!  We ended the evening getting cozy on the couch watching Straight Outta Compton (soooo good that I’m bummed I didn’t see it earlier).

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FullSizeRender_4Sunday morning we all walked to Urth Caffé for a delicious breakfast!  I had a tea latté and poached eggs with veggies on greens.  It was amazing!  My mouth is actually salivating now thinking about it.  HA!

IMG_0922That afternoon Greg and I went shopping, and I saw this on a wall.  Not condoning writing on a public wall, but I do love what it says.  #JustTheWayYouAre

My Mom was passing through on Sunday afternoon, so she stopped by for a few minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee with us.  Loved that surprise!

The rest of our Sunday was spent watching more movies (The Martian and Trainwreck, which were also great), and relaxing.  The weather has been chilly and rainy, which is my favorite time to hang inside with movies and a cozy blanket.

I would say that the majority of our weekend was relaxing, and filled with quality time.  My favorite!  How was your weekend?  Did you have a full to-do list, or was it spent relaxing? Maybe a mix of both?

See you Wednesday!

xo.  Jen

FIVE FRIDAY FAVORITES: NUMBER 5

fridayvia

Happy Friday!  In honor of the glory that is Friday, I am bringing you five of my favorites. Again, these are just a few things I have been loving lately, and the range is all over the place. Enjoy!

  1. My new friend Meg at That Hummingbird Life launched her new podcast called Couragemakers this week, and it is so great!  I love the warning she gives her listeners–WARNING: This podcast contains courage, vulnerability and a desire to leave the world a brighter place than how we found it.  Great, right?
  2. Baked potatoes.  Simple, huh?  Growing up my Mom would make baked potatoes on the regular, and while I always really enjoyed them, they aren’t something that I make very often.  Well, my taste buds got excited, because on our girls trip this past weekend we had a baked potato bar that was insanely delicious!  Baked potatoes are definitely on my meal list for next week, and I’m spicing them up with some guac and salsa!  YUM!
  3. This amazing post by my friend Paige at Healthy Hits the Spot.  Her new series “Open Up” is fantastic, authentic, and completely spot on.  Love it!
  4. Greg and I went to our favorite local bookstore this week, and I picked up several new books to keep me inspired.  All of them are great, and I am especially enjoying The Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation by Tami Simon.
  5. I’m excited to have a very flexible weekend!  I can foresee lots of reading, walking, and organizing.  My faves!

What are YOU loving lately?  Let me know!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  See you Monday!

xo.  Jen