Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Owner of a Lonely Heart

"Say you don't want to chance it, you've been hurt so before..." Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes

Today I want to tell you that I know you've had your heart broken.
And I know how alone it feels. Like the world keeps turning while you feel the most unfeelable pain. And life keeps happening around you, but you have no idea how to re-insert yourself now that you’ve experienced this.
And I know that it makes you want to give up. To sit back and wait. And let things happen to you. And settle for what you can get.
Because what you can get is better than the possibility of putting yourself back into a position to feel the terrible heartache that you felt. I know this... because this was also me. I kept telling myself, "Better to deal with the devil you know then the devil you don't know." But why deal with the devil at all? How crazy is that logic??? UGH... 
I want to tell you that all of this waiting around for the just fine is no way to live. Giving up is not the solution.
Settling for something you know won’t make you happy is not the answer.
Because having your heart broken means that you were living all in. It means that you believed in something so much that you let your guard down. That you were willing to risk it all for the joy of the feeling.
And you can live that way again. And you are not alone.
"He heals the broken heart" Psalm 147:3
Surrender to the fear. Let your heart break. Feel all of those super scary feelings – the falling in love, the wanting something so bad it's all you think about, the putting all of your hopes into this one basket because it’s the most exquisite basket you've ever seen and nothing less will do.
And see how effing alive you feel then!
Can I guarantee that your heart won’t ever be broken again? No, it likely will. Because that’s what happens when you live and love and hope and dream with all you've got.
And in the end, it’s the only way to be.
xoxo, tami

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Can't Keep Running Away

"Can't keep runnin' away..." - Runnin' by Pharcyde

All I have done since my relationship ended in 2009 is run, run, run. I moved from place to place to place. I stayed away from dating. I pushed certain friends and family away. I didn't want to be close to anyone and and I didn't want to get too comfortable. When my break up occurred, my entire world was flipped on it's head and I was so traumatized. I vowed to not allow myself to ever become that vulnerable again.

So I ran, ran, ran. My life was chaotic. I submerged my heart, mind and soul into my work. Anytime it sounded like, looked like, smelled like my past... I ran. I ran to my work. The safe and pretty world of weddings and events where flowers were always beautiful, where linens were always gorgeous, where dresses were always white, where everything was lovely and safe.  Safe... that's all I kept thinking of. I wanted to run to a safe place. But even the pretty world of weddings and events was only a temporary pit stop. Because when the candles were blown out and the DJ played the last song, I would have to go back to my reality. That sad and painful place... and once I arrived, I quickly packed up a bag and ran, ran, ran again.

I was living in a paralyzing fear. I was deathly afraid and the only person I had in my corner every day all day was my youngest daughter. It took a while but it was with her that I was able to laugh and get out of the house and get involved in local activities. We went to movies in the park, the art museum, shopping, out to eat, food truck crawls and she even followed me to wedding industry events. And slowly, surely, I found my smile again.

I realized that I can't keep running away. So for the last 6 months, I have turned that around. I have opened my heart to get to know someone again. Love is easing back into my life... even on the days when I am semi-resistant. I want something that I haven't cared about in a while... stability. A home. A reliable schedule. Something that grounds me.

So here I am. Sure, I'm still fumbling at times. I still look and feel lost at times. But I am confident and smiling and sure about myself. Learning who and whose I am. I am tired from all of this running. I just want to slow down and take more notice of the little things. Experience joy and peace and love. Smile and laugh. Grow in wisdom and discernment. Get to know who God really is. And position myself for the amazing journey that lies before me.

xoxo, tami

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting Over That Hump with a No Meat Detox + Aloha.com

"If I could get over that HUMP, then maybe I will feel better." - That Hump by Erykah Badu
I don't know what is happening to my body. Is it because I am hovering the 40's? Is my body really changing that much? All I know is I have been in a cycle of sinus pressure followed by headaches followed by nausea followed by aches and pains. And just when I think all is well, it starts all over again. Oh... and then there is the kidney stone that paid me a visit and kicked my butt. So I decided I could either lay down and become my mother and grandmother, both who allowed bad health to take control... or I could fight back.

Being in good health is not only important to me physically, but also spiritually.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
So I put on my Nikes, my sweats and my boxing gloves and decided it was time to punch bad health in the FREAKING throat!

Oh my bad! I was getting a little excited over the violence of it. Where were we? Oh yeah, we were talking about health.  About a month ago one of my BFFs posted a link on Facebook to Aloha which is basically a dried green juice powder. I was fascinated by this. Now before I continue, let me just add that I am not being paid for this review. I simply tried this, helped my friend rack up a few credits in her Aloha account and wanted to share my experience with all of you.
First of all, its packed with lots of good for you organic ingredients like:

It is hydrating, detoxifying and rich in vitamins and minerals. But guess what else? It's also SUPER YUMMY!

I sent off for my 7-day trial. I had to cough up $3 for the shipping but who cares! I spend more than that on a latte at Starbucks. Come on, you know you do it too!

My package arrived within a week. But soon after I was down for a week with a daggone kidney stone. So I decided to wait until I was better and done with my meds to begin my journey into better health.

Once I was back to normal, I took a little trip to hang out with my friend Trader Joe and stocked up on turmeric, organic juices, grains, produce, almond milk and some quick vegetarian lunch options that I could nosh on at my desk. And so the journey began into a juicing, vegetarian detox diet.

One of the coolest things about Aloha The Daily Good, is that it is a dried green food and comes in little portable packets that you can toss in your bag and take with you. I happened to use it in the mornings by mixing it into a fruity breakfast smoothie. I suggest you buy a smoothie shaker like this one from Sundesa for around $9.
It will blend your mix right on up. Aloha The Daily Good has a subtle earthy flavor that is pleasantly balanced by berries and lemon. Not in the way that grass or leaves might taste but in that its just a warm and earthy flavor due to the mushrooms. It's quite tasty and blends very well into fruit smoothies without being overpowering.

I followed this with a vegetarian lunch, followed by a salad for dinner and a warm almond turmeric milk before bed. {RECIPE HERE}

DAY 2: I was no longer experiencing chronic sinus pressure and headaches

DAY 3: I naturally wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour, fell asleep fast and slept soundly through the night

DAY 4: My back and neck pain was dissipating

DAY 5: I felt renewed energy

DAY 6: I experienced a strong sense of mental clarity and cognitive processing

DAY 7: I ordered more Aloha.com and headed back to TJs for a few more yummy and organic things!

I am a fan, my loves. Now, I know eating healthy can be a psychological struggle. I battled with it for a really long time and would continue to abuse my body with foods that tasted good but were so bad for me. Like ice cream and chips and the occasional soda and fried foods and tacos and pizza. Let's face it, these things are darned good!

But once I started to feel and experience the change, I want more of it! I feel alive and younger and vibrant, healthy and strong. And don't we all want to feel our optimal best.

I highly recommend you give the 7-day Aloha.com Daily Good a spin. Click the caption in the pic below to take advantage of your free trial. Remember it's only $3 for shipping. A small price to pay for you to begin your journey into a better you.
We are soldiers in the army of the Lord. And we can't fight the battle if we are too tired to get up and make it happen.

I do hope this post is of some encouragement to you. If you have any questions, prayer requests or are battling to be disciplined in your physical health, please leave a comment below. I promise to respond.

xoxo, tami

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thinking of a Master Plan

I just love that opening line to "Paid in Full" by Eric B. and Rakim. Actually, the whole song is pretty dope but the rest of the lyrics make absolutely no sense for this blog post so let's move along...

Master Bedrooms! That's what my mind is on today.

"Sidenote: So since it's called Master Bedroom, and I will be the occupier of such a room, does that make me the MASTER? Why yes... YES IT DOES!"

So now that we have established heirarchy, let's chop it up.

I was thinking about what I want my new room to look like. I have always had beautiful homes. My ex and I had similar taste and we both were very particular about how we wanted our home to look, but there was one thing missing. The rooms were well appointed but none of them were really a reflection of our deeper selves. Sure, they looked great, and we liked them just fine. But after a while, the design would get old and stale. This time around, I want to be sure that "TAMI" is in the house! WOOT!

My bedroom has to be a place where I can retreat. I want to walk in and feel like this is MY space. I am single. I don't have to share my design ideas with anyone when it comes to my bedroom. I want this to be a place I will enjoy lazing around in on a Sunday morning. I want to curl up in my bed and read a good book. I want to close the door after a hard day and unwind. Light some candles, play a little jazz and close my eyes.

How do I pull this off? Well, I can share that I have an affinity towards sexy speakeasys and a love of Old Hollywood. And I have been thinking of ways to merge these two amazing eras into one FABULOUS look for my boudoir. 

There are a few places in Los Angeles that I really love because they have that dark and sexy vibe that the old speakeasys had. For example:

The Varnish in DTLA
Seriously, this is the coolest of the cool hidden spots, my loves. Imagine you have entered a time warp. When you come out of the other side you are dead center in a 1920's roaring speakeasy. At The Varnish, 
a black-vested gent leads you to a shiny wood banquette, where, to your left, perch two gals with pinned-up hair-dos and, to your right, sits a mustachioed man in a bow tie. At the bar, you can enjoy Prohibition libations. An old piano is parked in the corner where the good ole Jazz Age comes to life. I just love that old ragtime music!
Bar Marmont in Hollywood
This spot is next door to Chateau Marmont. Not as ultra-trendy as it used to be, but it still lures a A-list crowd for cozy cocktails. Resplendent with rich brown tufted leather banquettes and a tantalizing courtyard, this night spot is a modern day take on the speakeasys of yesteryear. And I don't know about you, but these dark red fringed lanterns just do it for me.
This is the one true bona fide speakeasy that has the right to call itself so in all of Los Angeles County. The Prohibition Era is alive and well in this Venice basement bar. Dating back to 1915, this bar used to only be accessible via secret tunnels during Prohibition. In addition to historical libations you can also find a bevy of micro-brews and craft beers smuggled in by the Del Monte staff, proving that mystery and secrecy are still a huge part of this iconic landmark. 
The Sayers Club in Hollywood
This speakeasy has an exclusive door policy, so it's best to visit this place if you know someone who knows someone. But once you are inside, you are met with a dark and sleek environment complete with leather couches, a stage where live music is performed, and some of the priciest drinks in town (like $18 per cocktail!). But just look at this place. Can you say HOTNESS!

Now, let's talk Old Hollywood, for a moment. I love the opulence and femininity that was celebrated during this era. Still sexy but with lots of glamour. I have a particular love of the under-celebrated African-American starlets of this bygone era. Josephine Baker, Lena Horne, and Dorothy Dandridge. All gorgeous women. But none of the fame and glory of their Caucasian counterparts. I would like to step back into nightlife to take a peek at how Los Angeles infuses Old Hollywood in the current bar scene.

The Parlour Room in Hollywood
Nestled right in Old Hollywood on Yucca Street, The Parlour Room is gorgeously appointed with green tufted leather seats, a marble bar, plenty of sparkly chandeliers and vintage gold mirrors, giving it a swanky basement hideaway vibe. Want to slip away? Maybe you can grab a seat next to the fireplace on the enclosed brick patio out back. 
The Tower Bar in West Hollywood
Previously Bugsy Siegel's old apartment, The Tower Bar is one of the chicest and coziest bars in town. With both a fireplace and discreet niche seating for privacy, the walnut paneled walls give way to sweeping views of the city. Here you can bask in rose colored lights while listening to a live jazz pianist. I just love how welcoming this bar is.
Combining the glamour of the past with contemporary style, The Bar is a chic and sexy location. Recently renovated in 2011 and with the addition of Wolfgang Puck, The Bar exudes a very wealthy and glamorous atmosphere. You can enjoy a warm fireplace while a pianist entertains you on the baby grand. I love the mixture of black and white photos, with brass and marble and dark charcoal walls. It's sexy and modern with a touch of vintage Old Hollywood. The perfect mix. Here are a few photos of this amazing space.

So there you have it, my loves. My crazy design filled mind is jumping for joy with the challenge of creating a bedroom design that blends these two looks together in a sophisticated way. I know you are wondering how I can pull together a bedroom design when I am looking at bars... but just you wait and see.

Well... what do ya think? 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When I Think of Home

"When I think of home, I think of a place where there's love overflowing." - Diana Ross, The Wiz
Babygirl (aka my soon to be 13 year old daughter) and I are moving... again. OK, we don't technically have to move again but I need something that these places we have been in are not giving. Yep, I will not settle down until I feel that homey-at-home feeling. And thus far, I haven't found the perfect spot. I have only found the "for right now" spots. But I am on a mission to find the perfect rental.
Whether we rent a house or an apartment matters very little to me. There are pros and cons to both. I have lived in both and for everything that I love, it comes with something I do not.

For example, apartments tend to come with fast maintenance, free water (and sometimes free trash), sometimes a pool and fitness center with free access, laundry on site, lower utlility bills... but I don't get the same level of privacy, the number of unique apartments available is well... you know, and there is no backyard or quiet place to retreat to.

A house on the other hand allows us to have our own washer and dryer (no more quarters and no weirdo neighbors placing your undies on top of the dryer when they want to use the washing machine... GOSH I HATE THAT!). Houses also have driveways, backyards and front lawns where you can bask in the sunshine and sit on the porch, drinking lemonade while spitting in a cup and watching the neighborhood kids play. Houses sometimes have garages (aka extra storage space. WOOT!). Houses have unique features, especially some of the older ones. And houses make you feel like a bona fide grown up. BUT... houses have higher utility bills. Not only do you have to pay for water and trash, but also lawn maintenance. Oh and if there is a pool... well you have to pay for that too, and trust me, that bill is a doozy. And when repairs need to be made, you don't always get the response time you had hoped for.

I am on a mission friends. After all a house is just a house until someone makes it a home. I am looking for just such the place. One that speaks to my soul. One that makes me want to curl up on a couch and drink tea while watching Steel Magnolias and The Color Purple for the umpteenth time. One that has an awesome kitchen where I can whip up some delicious noms for my friends and family members. And a great spot for a Christmas tree. You know the kind of place I am talking about? A home. That place that people come to and feel so cozy that they fall asleep on your couch. (I LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS! That means they are major comfy and at home in my place).

So this is my mission. And I will not give up until I find it. Wish me luck friends!

xoxo, tami

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Been So Long

"Been so long... of missing you baby." - Anita Baker

Hi friends! I know there are those of you who subscribed to this blog long ago and have forgotten about it because my last post was nearly 2 years back! GAH! I know, I suck.

My life has been on a crazy whirlwind of an adventure, my loves. My ex and I split up 5 years ago but during that time, he was still in and out of my life. I had such difficulty letting go and facing that it was over. And he wasn't helping because he was also holding on for his own self-serving reasons. So 9 months ago, I just went cold turkey. I saw him one last time. He cooked for me that day. I sat in his living room, waiting for him to prepare a delicious meal for me, and we talked about getting back together, we laughed about the years we shared and funny moments with our kids. We had a great time. He is a great cook and the meal was amazing. And then I left and on my way home, I decided that would be the last time I saw him. It was a good visit. He was a gracious host. But I was done. My heart was done. He didn't know it was the last time...and neither did I actually. But when I made the decision in my heart, I knew that this time I wouldn't return. And I haven't.

That decision came with it's own heavy bag. I had to find out how to live without that connection. How to move past his sweet texts and my fantasies of a happily ever after with him and just move on. It has been such a difficult journey. But I moved forward, one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time...until the past was in the past and my future was more lovely than what I had left behind. It happened. Slowly, surely. It actually happened.

So what did I do during my 9 months of healing?

+ I went to see movies in the park with my daughter.
+ I dined at a bunch of really cool street food trucks.
+ I worked on really cool floral gigs for Ralph Lauren, 20th Century Fox and Georges Marciano.
+ I planned and designed a few awesome weddings.
+ I sewed up and sold about 50 custom designed flower girl banners on Etsy.
+ I hired a celebrity stylist to chop off all my long hair.
+ I attended my family reunion and saw relatives that I hadn't seen in almost 20+ years.
+ I traveled to Las Vegas to visit my middle daughter.
+ I renovated my office desk and chair... again.
+ I watched the sunset over the Santa Monica mountains from my rooftop.
+ I took a walk in my neighborhood and found the house that was used in the movie "Cheaper By the Dozen" with Steve Martin!
+ I dined at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. YUMMO!
+ I shopped the Hollywood Farmer's Market with my friend and our daughters.
+ I grew in my spiritual walk.
+ I adopted a cute little pup.
+ I had an open fire minus the chestnuts on Christmas Day.
+ I subscribed to a handful of really awesome magazines.
+ I also boosted my girly self by signing up for a makeup subscription.
+ I found a really super amazing and fantabulous church with a great God story behind it.
+ I bought a pair of sparkly Ralph Lauren sandals.
+ I took a yoga class in the park in Downtown Los Angeles.
+ I took advantage of free Slurpee day at 7-11.
+ I attended the Simple Plan by Sage Wedding Pros for my small business.
+ I participated in the Los Angeles River Clean Up movement.
+ I purchased a handmade leather bound journal at the Los Angeles Book Festival  at USC.
+ I went whale watching with my daughter's class on a field trip and saw seals sunbathing on a buoy.

For me, one of the most incredible social networks right now is Instagram. I say this because Instagram allowed me to document my life. I shared pics with whomever wanted to see what I was up to. Little did I know it would serve as a wake up call for me. A reality check that life is pretty damned amazing and I had better start to be content about it. Just look at what I saw when I came to my senses:

So as you can see, when I thought life had gotten the best of me, life was actually showing me that I had a lot to smile about. So much to be thankful for. Today, I am in a much better place. I am rebuilding my life by pushing the reset button.

When I started this blog, I wanted to focus on DIY home projects and interior design. But I see now that I was hiding myself in projects. I lacked the passion this blog needed because I was still not being as transparent as I needed to be about the dark place I was in. I have a story to tell and my life is a testimony. Someone out there needs to hear it. Someone needs to know that life is great. Someone needs to know that it WILL be ok.

So here I am. Standing strong. And beginning this journey anew. I hope you don't mind tagging along.

xoxo, tami