• I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

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  • That time I wore 👖
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  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday


Everyday Hygge Holidays

The Unexpected Gift

January 6, 2007
La Jolla Dream Cottage by

During the holidays, I normally don’t give or receive gifts. The reason isn’t because I’m all bahumbug but because, for me, there’s something very awkward about feeling the pressure to give or receive something just because it’s December and it’s something we’re supposed to do. I don’t like feeling forced to participate in that and wouldn’t want anyone I loved to feel the same.

Instead, during Christmas I focus on spending time with friends and family, writing notes and sending cards. It’s the rest of the year that I focus on giving the unexpected gift.

The unexpected gift is something I give when people least expect it. For instance, a friend who has been sick I get them a massage and another who is often of her feet might get a pedicure. I’ll see a box of chocolates and know a woman who’d love them just as I know my book-loving friend might love something I just read. If a friend has been stressed I’ll look after her children for a day or I’ll offer to take her out for coffee and cake to just listen (the gift of time is always underrated). There are other friends I hardly get to see so I’ll take them away on a trip or send them on a plane to visit me and there’s my girlfriends at the store for whom I bring in treats once in awhile because there’s nothing like unexpected cupcakes to make girls swoon! Then there’s people I don’t know but whose blogs inspire me so much that I’ll send them something from their wishlist as a Thank you for posting.

In giving the unexpected gift, there is less pressure for both the giver and receiver and there’s more time to enjoy the act for both say in June than on December 23rd. For me, this became really important after I began to feel more and more stressed about the holidays and how commercial I felt they had become. I didn’t want to keep complaining without doing, and so I decided to stop buying and instead, start enjoying the time. I’d make it up in September by doing something personal for someone else instead.

What I’ve noticed about giving the unexpected gift is that the person that receives it seems to acknowledge it and enjoy it a little more because they don’t feel as though they have to “compete” or buy something back. There’s no “ok, they got me this for the holidays – now what do I give back?” The unexpected gift seems to have less strings attached and, to me, that’s what a gift is all about.

  • Reply
    decor8 HollyNo Gravatar
    January 17, 2007 at 2:47 AM

    Wow. I’m sitting here, chin on table. I thought I was the only one alive that did this, thought like this, etc. Well, with the exception of my husband…

    Another reason why you and I have to become BFF’s!!! he he


  • Reply
    BobbieNo Gravatar
    February 14, 2007 at 5:15 AM

    I am totally in agreement with you on this. Thanks for the wonderful post.

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