A Lovely Life Welcomes A Lovely Baby!

nick+kelly hawaii{our babymoon in Maui}

I’m so happy to share that my husband and I are expecting our first child!! It’s a really exciting and (already) life-changing experience. It’s amazing how it’s shifted our perspective and without a doubt it will even more once the baby comes in January.

Two weekends ago we had a Gender Reveal party with our family at my in-law’s home. Here’s a peek: reveal_front door decor{cute front door decor – is it a boy or girl superhero?}  reveal decor_mother goose bookreveal_cupcake tower{delicious cupcakes from my fav bakery, Frosted Cakery}

I was curious to know everyone’s guess of the gender, so we had them grab a pink or blue golf ball. It was interesting that the majority of our family chose pink balls. reveal_golf balls 2I’m so grateful that my good friend, the talented event planner behind hooRAE, Rae Pardini, came to our rescue. She handled the reveal (crazy she knew the gender before us), so we didn’t have to find out before our family did. It was as much a surprise to us as it was to them, making the experience even more special and priceless.

I knew I wanted to do something golf-related, but wasn’t sure what. Rae had the idea to fill a golf ball with either pink or blue powder. When it was hit, the ball would explode and reveal whether it was a boy or girl!
reveal_nick about to hit ballNick and I were nervous, even though we’d be happy either way…reveal_pink smoke!and it’s a GIRL!! Apparently our niece, Payton, is happy she’s getting a girl cousin! reveal_payton with ballreveal_pink golf ball in our hands Reveal_pink ball in 1:2{ball (on right) post-explosion} reveal_pink cupcake up closeWe’ve appreciated all the support and excitement from our family and friends. I’m really looking forward to A Lovely Life continuing to evolve with more topics, including the pregnancy, childbirth + baby. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Stay tuned…

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One Year Anniversary of A Lovely Life!

regularlogoBThis month marks the first anniversary of the launch of A Lovely Life! Since last August, it has been a time of amazing growth, improvement and lessons.

Writing the blog has brought up areas of my life that I need to work on. It’s taught me about prioritizing, goal setting, time blocking, clear communication & transparency and knowing how I work best. These have all been blessings.

I love being able to share Health + Wellness, Authentic Living, Lifestyle and Beauty + Style topics with you! I also love collaborating on stories with like-minded people. I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog too and that it’s made your life a little bit more lovely.

These are some of my (+ your) favorite posts from the 1st year:

heartWorking Out & The Lean Out Cleanse with FitnessSocial

heartHow To & the Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

heartLegs-Up-the-Wall

heartA Lovely Home: Our Home Remodel

heartHow to Organize 101: Help from a Professional Organizer

Please stay tuned for what’s to come in the future ~ new content, a new web design, great photography + more!

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any suggestions for the blog? What content and topics would you like to see more of? How often would you like there to be a new blog post?

THANK YOU for your support this first year!

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Charleston, South Carolina here we come!

Charleston_view of Ravenel bridge{The Arthur Ravenel Bridge}

The end of this week I’m going on a weekend girl’s trip to Charleston, South Carolina! It might seem like a random place to visit from California, but I’m really excited that we chose to go there. About 3 years ago I had saved this weekend guide to Charleston I found in the WSJ. I was drawn to it and knew I wanted to go there at some point!  charleston map

I’ll admit that to get me in the mood, I’ve been binge-watching Bravo’s reality TV show set in Charleston, Southern Charm. I know that’s like watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to find out how Los Angeles is. 😉 But, it is acquainting me with the beautiful city and the southern charmCharleston, SC City Guide{Rainbow Row by A Beautiful Mess}

Post-trip I’m planning on doing A Lovely City guide, but in the meantime here’s a Charleston City Guide by A Beautiful Mess.  It includes lots of places we’ll be trying, so will keep you posted!

Keep following this week for more on Charleston. Have you been? xoxo

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A Lovely You: Plant Seeds of Intention for Spring

Spring_cherry blossomsI had the pleasure of meeting Lisa McCardle a few months ago in Monterey, California. Anytime I travel and am going to be somewhere for more than a few days, I ask around for recommendations (or google) for go-to health & wellness-focused places – yoga studios, healers, juice bars, restaurants, etc. I heard about Lisa, a colon hydrotherapist & energy balancing practitioner, through the Detox The World website. Lisa McCardle{the lovely Lisa McCardle}

Lisa was a massage therapist for more than a decade at the renowned Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA. That speaks for itself. Post Ranch is all about impeccable quality, so you know Lisa is really good. Upon moving to Monterey, she realized her dream of opening her own center with a focus on deep therapeutic healing. This became Flowing Waters Wellness Center. To assist her clients in deep mind & body healing, she expanded her repertoire by becoming certified in Colon Hydrotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Prenatal Massage, Guided Imagery, Feng Shui and Energy Balancing.

We put importance on preparing our home for spring (a.k.a. spring cleaning), so I asked Lisa how we can prepare ourselves for spring – physically, mentally + emotionally and spiritually. She was kind enough to break it down for us.

This is what Lisa says:

The theme for April is expect the unexpected, affirming that anything and everything is possible. Let’s divide this into 3 categories, beginning with: actionrunningshot_NewheartPhysically

Let’s clean house. Spring is an excellent time for a full body cleanse to rejuvenate, refresh and renew from the inside out. There are many options when diving into cleansing, My favorites are food-based cleanses. I would recommend 21-28 days. Start with eliminating the foods that are not serving you. Some favorites are Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, Dairy, Grains and ALL processed foods. If you’re going to keep meat and eggs in your diet, then please make sure they are hormone-free and organic. Increase your veggies and fruits (but keep in mind that fruits can be very high in sugar, so eat them consciously), lean healthy proteins, plenty of good fiber, fermented veggies and probiotics. I’m also a huge fan of bone broths.

You could add an herbal cleanse to the elimination diet to support your cleansing desires or do a juice cleanse. I would recommend adding a 1-3 day juice cleanse into the middle of your elimination diet. There are many ways to enhance the results of the cleanse:

  1. Drink a minimum of 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
  2. Dry skin brushing.
  3. Colon hydrotherapy.
  4. Lymphatic massage, Chryotherapy and Infrared saunas.
  5. Daily exercise.
  6. Proper amount of sleep, about 7-8 hrs.

MeMeditatingpose2heartMentally + Emotionally

Ok, it’s time to take the deep dive into the truth of yourself and your life. Carve out some time to sit and get honest.  Use this time to do a life inventory, perhaps sit and meditate upon this, write it down so you can get really clear. Begin with “What is working fabulously in my life?” So often, when we do stop to look around, we focus on what isn’t working instead of celebrating our victories. Find 1-5 things you can stand up and say a big YES to. Celebrate these wins in your life and take full responsibility that YOU are the creator of these wins!

Now, settle back in, clear the slate, and get down and dirty with the truth. “What could be working better in my world?” “What needs to change?” and “What is holding me back?” Make a promise to yourself to be an open truth-telling book on this one. The first steps to change are to fully acknowledge that change is needed! Then ask yourself. “What would it take to blank?” Insert: Change jobs, recreate or leave a current relationship, get right in relationship with your body, lose the weight, cut the addictions, spend more time with family. Fill in whatever your truth may be. In the asking, you’re opening up all availability to receiving the answer. Reach out for support from a friend, a counselor, a mentor, or a life coach. You don’t have to do any of this alone! Get real, get honest about what is working, what is not, make a plan, get support and take action! The seeds of intention that you plantheartSpiritually

I inspire you to dream bigger then you’ve ever allowed yourself to dream before. Never in the history of time has there been a more profound time to align yourself with your vision and to magnetize that which is your greatest desire.The Universal law, The Law of Attraction, states: That which is like unto itself, is drawn. So, be clear in both your vision and your intention. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to live ALL that I am thinking at any given moment?” The power of your thought is so grand and undiscerning that you must be a clear, concise and conscious creator, and your thoughts are your magical wand.

This brings us to the challenge of our limiting belief systems.  We all have them and mostly we acquired them. The unfortunate truth is that often we are groomed into belief systems that our family of origin hold and also were given, the offering usually goes back many generations. These belief systems are often around money, self-esteem, self-worth, self-value and limitations as to what is or what is not perceived as possible. The truth is that part of your birthright is that ALL you desire is available to you; the trick is YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT!! Often when manifesting, having it all, creating what you desire is opposed to what you think you’re allowed to have.

In the name of spring, planting new seeds and creating fertile soil for manifestation, I invite you to begin looking at people who have the things you most desire, not just material things, but a way of being in the world that you admire. Perhaps they are confident, social, seem to “have it all”, whatever it is that speaks to you, I invite you to observe them, spend time with them, ask them how they do it.  We tend to shy away from people who have what it is we desire, maybe even judge them.  The truth is moving towards that which you desire allows you to fall into vibrational alignment with it and therefor magnetize it to you. Be gentle with yourselves, these can be deep seated and generationally strong belief systems. But, you have the power, the grace and most importantly, the right to plant new seeds and reap the harvest of new possibilities!

To help you, here is a clearing for limiting belief systems. Say this to out loud to yourself as often as you’d like:

I release all thoughts, all beliefs and all emotions that are no longer serving my higher good. I release all limiting belief systems, all judgements and all fears, that are holding me back from living the life of my dreams. I release familial and generational agreements that I or my family may be holding that is limiting our potential to thrive in the manner of which we desire. I forgive any and all experiences, belief systems or agreements that may have occurred with anyone in my life so we may both be free to move forward, with love, light and joy. I release the past in its entirety and all of the experiences of the past that hold me to a belief that is no longer true.  I set myself, my family, and my lineage free. I open completely to that which IS possible. I plant my seeds of manifestation with clear intention, with optimism and with trust in the perfection of ALL that is. I see myself and my pathway forward in the light of the divine and in absolute perfection. I open to receive fully, completely and unconditionally. In honor and gratitude..so it is..and so it shall be!

I hope this helps you as you go forward into Spring! Thank you Lisa!

To book an appointment with Lisa, call 831.333.0409| flowingwaterswellness.com

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Monday Mantra: Life is All About Balance

warrior3Part of living a lovely life is living a balanced life. What makes for a balanced life? When we spend an equal or close to an equal amount of time engaging in all parts of our lives. It usually consists of family, friends, work, play (free time), self-love + self-care, and education. People who live a “balanced” life tend to be more happy, healthy and fulfilled.

I know about not living a balanced life too well. For years in my 20’s, I struggled with it. And I think we all do at some point. Even then, I knew I needed more balance in my life. I was focusing too much on work and not enough on what really mattered to me and would keep me grounded – friends, family and self-care. Thankfully, I’ve now learned lots of tips on how to have a more balanced life.

A friend recently recommended the book,  Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, about the art of living. I stumbled upon the (below) text in it and found it really eye-opening. It’s a great reminder to do your best work, then take a step back:

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.

I’d love to know – how do you stay balanced in your life?

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How to Get Organized 101: The Details

ORG_teamwork_journalsIn January, I did a Fresh Start, Fresh New Year post on How to Get Organized 101 with tips from professional organizer, Sophie Dictos Garcia. Now that it’s Spring, which is basically synonymous with spring cleaning, it seems fitting to do a follow-up.

As John Wooden said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

A few of Sophie’s detailed tips:

1. Take a subject & create a bin for it. As you can see below, we were very detailed with the bins. There are individual ones for envelopes & photo paper. The ‘office supplies’ bin includes Post-it’s, index cards, tape & rulers. We used these bins in various sizes from Target.org_small bins dedicated to ea. item

The bin for iPhone-related items is extremely helpful & anxiety-reducing. 🙂 I no longer have to dig inside the cabinet looking for a charger, lens cleaner or headphones.

new org_flashlights + iphone suppliesorg_iPhone suppliesnew org_i-related items2. Develop file systems by Subject. Thankfully, we now live in a paperless world, but there are documents you still need hard copies of (i.e. social security card, marriage license, insurance docs, etc.) that need to be filed. File by subjects like “Medical”, “Insurance”, “Home”, “Family”. org_kelly's files_birth & marriage3. Develop a separate file system by Year. Sophie suggests couples do this to document & save special items like thank you’s, invites, etc. new org_Kelly + NickIt might sound funny – she also helped me create a “pre-marriage” bin for both my husband & I to store pictures & other mementos from those years.

I hope these additional tips help you as you get your spring cleaning groove on!

For Sophie’s services, contact her at sophieig@sbcglobal.net.

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Spring is in Bloom!

Spring_cherry blossoms{almond trees in beautiful light pink + white bloom. central valley, california.}

Happy First Day of Spring + Spring Equinox!

I was talking to the lovely Anne Van De Water yesterday about all that is happening in the Universe right now. There’s the transformative New Moon in Pisces (happened early this morning at 1am) and Spring Equinox (today & tomorrow). I asked her what it all means, in layman’s terms, and how can I prepare for it?

She suggested I listen to Aleya Dao’s most recent Tall Cup of Consciousness “Reweaving & Rebirthing your Energy” online video. She also recommended I update the list of visions I have for my life, refine it and read it over so they’re crystal clear in my mind.  spring_yellow flowers

{central valley, california}

When I woke up this morning I could feel a new + fresh vibe in the air. Can you? Instead of getting up and going about my morning as usual, it felt like a good idea to lay in bed a little longer and soak in the dreams I had while sleeping. I then listened to Aleya Dao’s message. It was 45 minutes long, but went by really quickly! Aleya asked: For this time of new beginnings, “what qualities do you want to bring into this new chapter? Not the physical things you want to manifest, but what qualities do you want to feel in your life?”

I’d love to know – what’s a quality you want to feel in your life daily? Do you have clear visions of what you want to blossom? Wishing you the best of luck for all your dreams to bloom!

Thank you Kelsey Burton Photography for the beautiful photos!

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Theme for March: Power It Up!

power finalI love reading the themes for each month. I use them as a “check-in” and as a guide. They help me know how I can go about the month in the best way and what to focus on. The theme for last month was TIME. One of the messages was that there is enough time; that everything happens in “right” timing. Now, the theme for March has moved to POWER.

Lena Stevens writes on MysticMamma, “This is the right timing for some of those ‘what if’s’ to get some ignition and power up with the right combination of fuel. The fuel in this case is the power from energy sources that can be tapped into.” 

What are these energy sources? Stevens says:

  • “Places in your psyche that are still attached to judgement, blame, shame, disappointment, worry, regret, old emotional trauma, wounds and karmic events, and any sense of failure around past or present experiences.” (wow – there’s a lot going on there!)

To know what this is for you, ask yourself: What in your life do you think is holding you back? What pain from the past? What limiting beliefs? A big one for me is not forgiving myself and others. I feel like I need to practice forgiveness, so I can move forward in a more productive and healthy way.

Once you tap into these energy sources that are within you, you connect with your true power. This asks: What is your ‘false self’ vs. your ‘true self’/’true power’?

Your ‘false self’ “is an illusion that others have more power than you do. It is also an illusion that true power can be taken away from you. If you can lose it, it is not true power,” writes Stevens.

“This month you can examine your relationship with power and determine what is power in your life and what is not. This does not mean you cannot have and enjoy what you have been able to manifest as long as you do not give it too much power…”

|image via popsugar.|

I hope you ‘tap’ into your inner power this month!

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The Present is the Present

be presentHere’s the scenario: You’re somewhere by yourself or with friends/family and you’re thinking of something else entirely. Then, you get down on yourself for not being fully there and in the moment. Has this happened to you? Because my hand is shooting up! I was and am still, but thankfully not as often, guilty of this. There have been so many times when I get stuck dwelling on the past, asking and blaming myself for what I could have done differently. There have been just as many times when I put too much emphasis on the future. But, you know what, it’s a big waste of time! When it comes down to it, all we have is the present. Worrying about the past or the future can’t change or make either one of them better.

Out of really wanting to work on being more present, so I didn’t miss out on what is real in my life, I began this practice of tuning in and asking myself every morning:

“Just for today, I want to…” just for today, i want toHere’s an example of one of mine:

Just for today, I want to: 1) listen to my intuition; 2) go with the flow & don’t make so many plans; 3) focus on work.

Your list can consist of anything you want to focus on for that day. Every day is different and your needs vary, so the list will change. Some days mine include 1) getting organized; 2) have a good time with Kate (insert a friend or another person in your life). It can be as broad as “be an amazing partner” or as simple as “clean the house”.

This one, easy practice has changed my life immensely. It helps to center and ground me. It gives me clarity in how I want to show up and be the best I can for that day and in each moment. Because as they say: bil keane quoteby Bil Keane via POPSUGAR and…mother teresa quoteby Mother Teresa via sevenquotes.com.

I’d love to know – will you try this and/or what are your tips to being present?

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Lovely Finds 2.12.15

These 5 lovely finds caught my eye and gave me inspiration this week. From the latest trouser trend, killer Grammy’s red-carpet fashion (& how you can get the look) to wellness goodies that are on my wish list. lovely finds_the cropped pant on Rihanna edit1. During Grammy week in LA, Rihanna stepped out in chic + unfussy cropped trousers by Stella McCartney, $1,460, net-a-porter.com. To get the look, try these pairs from Zara, $79.90, & ASOS, $55.03.

lovely finds_gwen stefani2. The formal, tailored Atelier Versace jumpsuit Gwen Stefani wore to the Grammy’s. This gorgeous one was custom-made, but check out these by Lovers + Friends, $180 & Tamara Mellon, $895.

Jack Vartanian_short glam leopard ear cuff final3. Bold ear cuffs: a top jewelry trend at the recent awards shows & among tastemakers. Giuliana Rancic wore this Jack Vartanian short glam leopard earring at the Grammy’s. For more budget-friendly options, try these ear crawlers by Ca & Lou, $290 & this one by Jules Smith, 30% off now for $31.50!

LOVELY FINDS_MOON PANTRY4. On my wish list: Moon Juice’s The Full Moon Pantry Collection of high-functioning, bio-available and medicinal whole foods. lovely finds_libra zodiac necklace final5. Also, on my wish list: Satya Jewelry Libra Zodiac Necklace, $98. A reminder to live a balanced life + in harmony. Get it in your zodiac sign here!

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{All lovely images courtesy of: 1.Harpers Bazaar, 2. People, 4.Moon Juice}

Hope you enjoy & like them as much as I do!

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