The Journaler

This, in some ways, is a window to my soul: my book is open. This is an honest reflection where I embrace the highs and lows, ups and downs, roller coaster of emotions I am often riding, the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly...but this is me, and this is my adventure...By revealing myself honestly I hope to inspire and encourage, because we all struggle sometimes and it's nice to know we're not alone. This is my experience as a small town girl living in a big city, trying to make my way while taking lots and lots of detours...

March 29, 2011


Dear Readers,

For reasons too unbearable to disclose, I am in a rather fowl mood at the moment. I'd like to keep this one to myself, but I'll say this, rejection is a B*@$*!!!

Okay, onward and upward. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade; what doesn't kill you makes you stronger; when you get screwed in the @$$.....okay okay, sorry, now I'm done. It's just that at this particular moment I feel like going into my car and screaming at the top of my lungs; I wanna cry out (dramatically of course) "WHY WHY WHY!?!?!?!"

I'm at a crossroads in my life - thought things were moving forward in one, albeit bumpy, direction, only now my life has abruptly veered off course and I just don't know what to do. The very idea of figuring things out again puts me in a cloud (a very thick one with no sign of blue sky). *Deep. Long. Sigh. Again. Deep. Long. Sigh.*

I feel as if I need to mourn. Mourn for the loss of possibilities that are no longer possible. Mourn for the loss of my innocence as adulthood brings wave upon wave of "reality." Mourn over the happiness that is too often fleeting.

This sadly is what I am feeling right now. I know in my core that the possibilities are still there and always will be, my innocence is not the same as when I was a child but I accept and embrace this, and happiness is felt so profoundly simply because it is not constant - if we never knew the feelings of sadness, we could never fully appreciate happiness.

This is life. It does not, no, it NEVER goes according to plan. Who we are is determined by our reactions to the hiccups. Today I am sad. Tomorrow I'll be okay. Soon after, I'll be stronger than ever!

March 25, 2011

An Honest Reflection, And Confession

I am deeply grateful and humbled that you stopped by to check out my blog. I love to write, and strive to portray myself honestly in the hope that when we are able to reflect on ourselves - truly as we are, not how we wish to be - clarity, confidence, appreciation, and vitality will become more easily attainable. It is easy to be jealous and envious, but too much time is wasted on these emotions, and for what? We are who we are. When we can look at the success of others and feel genuinely happy for them, rather than secretly covet their delightful contentment (in all honesty, this is no easy feat), then we can freely embrace our own lives and live joyously, fully, and with gratitude for the life we were given -- OR at least we can move forward in this positive direction without inhibition. I will admit, I battle with this every day. It is my goal to arrive at this level of satisfaction where I can say, "HELL YEAH, I love myself, love my life; I am so grateful to be me!" 

Okay, I've said my here's one more! Please let me entice you to read on by stating that, I don't think I've ever said this to anyone (for fear that no one would believe me and instead just laugh); I am secretly a wanna-be fashion fanatic! I am secretly obsessed, and you would never know it by looking at me (sad).
Okay I know, who cares! If I want to secretly or not so secretly adore fashion, and shamelessly covet those who live/work in such a glamorous world (ooops! I forgot, no coveting....okay, working on it!), then so be it. But actually, it's not that I covet anyone or anything in this lovely world, I just truly enjoy it, and I feel great when, on the rare occasion, I get it right.
I am truly rambling, but please bare with me. I have two things to address while you enjoy my pretend "fashion forward moments and faux pas." Good or bad, this is me!
1. With so many incredibly trendy and "in-the-know" bloggers out there in regards to fashion, why should I even pretend that people will care about my 2 cents? But ya know something, fashion is one of the most popular and talked about topics in the world for a reason: it is everywhere, it is interpreted and conveyed in boundless ways, it is endlessly interesting and changing, it is highly individualistic, and it is incredibly expressive and a beautiful aspect of life that is always within view. It is a world that encompasses not only the clothing we wear, the makeup we apply, the accessories we adorn ourselves with, and the way we style our hair, but it is also apart of our homes, our food, the arts, lifestyle, our pets, mode of transportation, and on and on.

Fashion is everywhere, and that is why I think I am so intrigued. I love it because it is expressive and beautiful and always at our fingertips. So whether people care about what I have to say or not, it is a world for me to explore, and I enjoy it tremendously, so why wouldn't I write about it?! It's silly for me to try to compete, ridiculous actually because there is no competition - if someone wants to read the words of a fashion guru (I do!) they won't find it here. Instead you will find someone who doesn't know what the hell she is talking about, but is deeply interested in trying! Maybe that will inspire others to not be discouraged if they are not immediate trend-setters - only a lucky few truly are (good for them!).  Instead, like myself, I would encourage one to focus on exploring their own unique and fresh take on what fashion means to them! Yay!

2. I've done so much rambling that I've completely blanked on this one, hmmmmm, probably for the best at this point ; )

Bottom line, I like to feel great about how I look. If I am feeling iffy about an outfit, and decide later on in the day that I must have suffered from a mental lapse rendering me useless in the decision making process about the outfit in question, then, well, I'll have a bad day. That is the honest truth. And I will covet (there's that word again!) other's outfits and their mental capacity to make fabulously informed wardrobe decisions. *deep. long. sigh*
It's okay to make a "fashion faux pas" every now and then (if one never experiments, one will never know...eheh). And it's also okay to feel great about yourself. I said earlier, occasionally I will feel as if I "got it right," but really what I love is being able to express myself in clothing that makes me feel great as an individual, on the cusp of the latest trends or not (usually not). At the end of the day, you want to feel like you put forth the best representation of yourself, whatever that may be. Only requirement that matters is that you feel great about you.

March 23, 2011

Awe Australia...

Just reflecting nostalgically on my trip to Australia last year. I love reading over the emails I sent as they really take me back. Enjoy a peak into my past...

January 26, 2010
Hello everyone!
I really want to say thank you for all of your emails. They mean so much to me. I'm sorry if I haven't gotten around to responding to you, things have been really busy (a good thing!), but I promise I will soon. You're emails go a long way for me and I cherish them.
Venus and Serena Williams!
Last week was a whirlwind. I worked 40 hours!!! Good god almighty, haha. It will probably be more like 30 hours from now on, which is better because I would like to see Melbourne while I'm here! Last week I went to the Australian Open! 

It was pretty amazing. Wish I had more of a tennis enthusiast with me (since I'm not one), but still it was exciting to see. I plan on going one more time in the next couple days with my Swedish roommates who happen to have an extra ticket.

These kids were awesome, loved their outfits!

My apartment is great, and my roommates are great too! I've been spending a lot of time with the Swedish girls. Love them! Yesterday was Australia day and we went to the beach, where everyone was sporting their Australian swimsuits (they are so patriotic over here). It's been nice weather, just gets way too windy in the early afternoon, so I'm hoping that will die down soon. We originally wanted to have a bbq down at the beach but decided it was too much hassle and just got take-out, a bottle of wine and headed to the beach for a picnic at sunset. It was looooooooverly! It's funny because their English is really good but they like to make fun of themselves sometimes, and i have sortof become their unofficial English tutor (poor them!) Been teaching them mostly English slang (sorry Mom!), well not really slang but like, catch-phrases i guess. It's really fun : )

The three of us went to the Melbourne Aquarium the other day too. Saw the cutest penguins I've ever seen (straight out of Happy Feet, I swear!) and sting rays that were seriously 10 ft wide, without the tail! In the next couple days we're all planning to go see Avatar at the IMAX here in Melbourne, which is the 3rd biggest in the world! Second biggest is Sidney and not sure where #1 is.

I also met an adorable girl from Germany who's super sweet and fun. We went out for dinner and drinks and talked for hours the other night. It's nice to have someone to talk to like that!

Been out on the town a few times, the other girls and I like this place in St Kilda called the Vineyard which usually has a live band and is just a really nice venue. It's nice though to be able to come home to an apartment and not a hostel!
Work has gotten a bit better. I think I had to prove to everyone that I was going to stick around for a while, because they have become much more friendly and chatty with me. It's understandable because since I've been working (2 weeks now) 2 other girls have come for their "trials" as they call it, and then never came back. I heard the boss tell one of them "we'll call you" so I don't know what I did right and what the other girls did wrong, i mean it's just sandwiches for goodness sake! I would say half of the employees are Australians who have been there for a while, and the rest are backpackers who just come and go. One of the Australian employees flat out told me he usually doesn't even talk to the "backpackers" at all. I think the only reason he's talking to me is because he just got back from the US! And apparently they never have American backpackers working there. So I guess that makes me special? ....... : )

After I leave Melbourne I am planning to spend 2 weeks in Tasmania with the WWOOF program, then take a guided tour to Ayers Rock. These tours are supposed to be incredible, so I'm looking forward to that.
Anyhooooooo, I miss you all so much, and so look forward to your emails.
I'll update soon. Keep me updated on your lives as well please!
Love you all so much. You have a very special place in my heart!
Love, Eliza

March 20, 2011

Fabulous Flea Market Finds!!

Eugene Oregon has one fantastic Flea Market! The Picadilly Flea Market was bustling and lively by the time we arrived with one hour to spare before closing. This is actually an amazing time to go, although I definitely want to try going earlier before things have been snatched up. At this time people are ready to sell sell sell! This is bargain time people. And omigoooooooodness gracious I found some fantastic items. I've never really been into flea market digging or antiquing - that was always something my mom loved and come'on, how uncool would it be if I actually acknowledged that she might be onto something....well, luckily I've finally come around. I can't wait to explore some of the awesome markets I've recently heard about in San Francisco!

Check out some of the awesome things I found....

INCREDIBLE English made beaded vintage purse, super awesome corked bottle (broke the bank at .25 cents hah!!!) - would look lovely as is or with some fresh flower sprigs and a bit of lavender. I had also been searching high and low for a tan/brown leather belt - can't believe how hard it was to find in the color I was looking for, but viola, there it was! And a bargain at 5 bucks. The large purse on the right by a Parisian watch designer, Charles Hubert was not purchased at this flea market, but I did recently find it at a vintage thrift store and am in love with the color and soft leather, yay! I shamelessly use it as a laptop purse, I don't even care how silly I look prying my laptop out of its tight grib fits. I swear!
Also found this super cute sterling silver ring with turquoise stone. Just the kind of simple and easy accessory I've been looking for. Love it. All of this, including giant brown purse was about $60. Not bad! Always fun to go rummaging and find some totally unique and inexpensive items.

March 19, 2011

A Moment For Japan

I'll admit, at times my mind wants to simply wander freely in lala land and pretend like everything is right in the world, after all, I am in no imminent danger here with my family in Oregon. But of course, in my heart of hearts I know that it isn't right to pretend. Everything is not okay in the world, far far from it. Gosh, it is just so sad. Aside from the terror that has engulfed Japan, terrible injustice is happening to peaceful protestors in Yemen and Libya. Perhaps inspired by the Egyptian people who had had enough, it seems that a domino-effect is taking place in regards to people rising up against oppressive conditions, and demanding democracy.

I almost feel guilty to have it so good. But instead of feeling guilty I need to make awareness an important part of my life - always be up to date, informed. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with everything going on, and to be honest, so much of what we hear is unbearably sad and often times we would rather be blissfully unaware. But this is wrong when you think about what people go through. If it was me in one of these desperate situations I would feel incredibly disgusted and heart-broken to know others who had it good were just too naive to care. I certainly don't want to be like that.

I strongly encourage you to check out if you haven't already. There are some incredible pictures that show you exactly what is going on -- the devastation inflicted on so many thousands of people. Please take a moment...

As if earthquake and tsunami weren't enough, now there is fear of a nuclear meltdown. So as the Japanese sift through the rubble that was once their homes and grieve over the loss of friends and family, they must also fear nuclear radiation. As a result the whole world is in fear of the radiation that is leaking from Japanese nuclear plants. It seems however that the radiation will dissipate before it actually reaches us here on the west coast, thereby strongly reducing the danger to us. Fear however is taking shape. There has been a surge in the demand for potassium iodide here in America, which is a drug that can protect people from radiation-induced thyroid cancer. Personally however, I believe the radiation will not reach us at such dangerous levels - I think all of these iodide tablets need to be a priority for Japanese and nearby countries who are at serious risk. I hope that they are receiving priority right now, not us.

This child....

Can't even imagine....

To be blissfully unaware is to live a life that is shallow and empty. Each day I realize this more and more. I am filled with gratitude, for life is a blessing and should never be taken for granted.

March 18, 2011

Twas A Festive Day Indeed at Mcmenamins

This Saint Patricks Day was one of the best I've ever had. Usually I don't find it to be a very big deal, and along with New Years, often over-rated. Yesterday however was a blast. Drank some delicious pints, pleased my palette with traditional Irish fare - corn beef and cabbage (nom nom), listened to some Irish jigs, and of course adorned my greenest of green wardrobe, which sadly didn't consist of much so had to make do with some fun green accessories.

Beer AND water...I know, good thinkin!

Despite the freezing cold weather here in Oregon and the many drunkards about, my family made it a day to remember. 
bundled up!
          Corn Beef and Cabbage, yes paleeeez!

the art of the "kissy face" after a couple pints...

Leah and Chad

Mom and me

Irish Coffee happiness

March 17, 2011

A Peak At The Past

This time last year I was shouting "ozzy ozzy ozzy, oi oi oi," drinking delicious cappuccinos, wandering the streets of Melbourne, driving the Great Ocean Road, and rummaging around eclectic markets and lying on the beaches in Sydney.

I also walked into the path of a highly poisonous King Brown snake and barely escaped with my life only to nearly kill myself from the anxiety of losing my wallet in the middle of Australia (I was in Alice Springs, literally smack dab in the middle); I experienced fear of not having a place to sleep at night, and at one time found myself fighting with airline attendants to let me fly! It was an incredible trip to say the least, but challenging no doubt.

There were moments when I found out truly who I was, particularly in those most trying.

While traveling I made sure to send out emails to my friends and family back home. I chronicled my journey and I couldn't be more grateful for the interaction I had with those who wrote back to me. At many times they brought me so much strength.

I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of these emails from my trip. They offer a true reflection of what I was going through at the time.

Happy reading!

Check out my sandwich making skills!
January 14, 2010

Hiiiiiiiiii everyone! I miss you guys. So it's been a week and a half now...what have I been up to? Lots and lots and lots.

Things are getting settled (well, sortof). I got a job! Today was my 2nd day, and it's, well, very hard work. Doesn't sound hard, but what I am is a sandwich maker! haha. We make sandwiches for all the little cafes in the neighborhood. There are lots of nice people that work there, and a couple very rude people, but I try to ignore them. I have to be at work at 7am Monday thru Friday! That's right, this lazy bum is getting up very early, and it's very hard for me. boohooo, i know i know, poor me. I've also arranged to stay in an apartment in St Kilda, which is a really cool beach community about 20 minutes from Melbourne. I really like it there. These apartments are for short term renters, so there's no deposit or lease, and it's going to be much cheaper than staying in hostels. I'm sharing the "flat" with 4 other girls, and theres a nice kitchen, living room, etc. So it will be more homey than staying in a hostel as well. So not only will I have to be at work at 7am, but i'll need to commute there by tram at 6:30am! sheeeeeeeeeez louiiiiiiiiiiiiiise! I'm trying to look for a little part-time babysitting as well. If anyone randomly knows someone out here who needs a sitter, LET ME KNOW.

My awesome co-worker, Svenia!
I've made friends with a French girl (just left for New Zealand today, so that's a shame, but I may get the chance to visit her in her hometown of France, Champagne specifically (!) when I go traveling there), and also a Scottish girl and a girl from Germany who I really like. I randomly met someone from SF but he's going off on the WWOOF thing most of the time (Willing Workers On Organic Farms). Speaking of that, I got a membership as well! So after maybe a month or so here, I'm hoping to do a little traveling around the country, and keep it cheap by staying with families along the way. I was thinking about going to Tasmania, Adelaide, Alice Springs/Ayers Rock, Byron Bay, and then Sidney. But we shall see!

It's great to be here, and I'm really enjoying this   country, but I do miss home. Get a little homesick from time to time, but am really going to embrace this opportunity. If anyone wants to come visit I'd be thrilled!

Always enjoying my daily cappucinos (soooooo much better here!), and lots of people watching, and the beach of course!

Love you guys soooooooooo much!

March 16, 2011

Beautiful Oregon

Oregon - heavy rain, freezing temperatures, lush lushy lushness, moss on the trees, and TREES! Goodness all the trees! Yes, I'm in Oregon with my family right now. We are here visiting my sister who goes to school in Eugene. I tell ya, for a California girl, Oregon is truly different and involves a whole other kind of beauty. I don't think I could ever settle down so far from the ocean, but for a change of scenery this place really does the trick. Sometimes the heart yearns for peace and serenity - a true change of pace from the busyness that consumes most of our lives.

Blogging : )
Being here is a simple reminder of how absolutely crucial it is to be able to "take a breather" and do something just for you. In a stressful situation when you feel like you're going to explode from the pressure of, I don't know.....whatever! - the best thing I have found is to simply remove myself from the situation temporarily. I'll take a moment to breath and remind myself that I will get through this - I'll think of something that makes me smile and allow this moment of happiness to penetrate....deep breath, then try again. When you have more time, get a massage, or mani/pedi, or even a delicious dirty chai (chai latte with espresso, my newest obsession - have no idea how I lived without this for so long), or buy yourself a cute new top or accessory, and definitely when you have time, take a vacay!

I like how the English say, "Let's go on holiday!" Because even though it may not technically be a holiday, for you it should be. We all deserve to indulge every now and then right!? I say, "that's right!" Can I get'a Amen!.....whooops, easy to get carried away.

But truly we can all afford to allow moments of hedonism to slip in occasionally, it's a matter of survival I say!

Anyone have their own fun ideas/tricks for evading the stressors that life sometimes throws at us?

March 14, 2011

Yoga Time

For most of my life I've been a dancer, and am more recently getting into yoga and running, which is great. But the more I exercise the more I realize to my great horror, that my stretchy pants, which I love and adore, are pretty much ancient. They are all so thin I am starting to fear that people can see right through, eww! 

There is nothing like a new pair of yoga pants - preferably the kind with zero bottom visibility please - to get you going in the morning! But geeez luweeeeez are they expensive. Target is the cheapest place I've found to get any gear, but I'm never very happy with their products.

I have recently discovered yet another awesome online shopping site, it's grotesque I know, but gahhhh I love them! And this one is really cool: > I found it through (also a cool site/blog) < Anyway blah blah yada yada, they are selling awesome exercise gear for less than the prices at target, and the best part is that they are made from BAMBOO and ORGANIC COTTON! This is what all the fuss from me is about. The only thing I am disappointed in, is that the products are imported, but that doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Don't get me wrong, I love target - I buy a new pair of cute sunglasses there at least once a month due to my terrible habit of constantly losing my shades - but really it's a ginormous corporation with questionable policies especially in regards to overseas factories/treatment of employees. Which unfortunately, is similar to many other American companies.

But these are made from Bamboo! Yay! Here is the link incase anyone is in dire need like myself....once you get that great pair of cropped pants on, there's no stopping you! Green Apple Active Sale

March 13, 2011

Botanical Gardens

Nothing like a stroll through the Botanical Gardens in SF. I went for the first time yesterday and am happy to know that admission is free for SF residents. Otherwise it is $7 but well worth it. In about a month I would imagine the gardens will be incredibly beautiful and in full blossom.

Got to run my family just arrived! I've only been SF a month but they can't stay away : ) And I couldn't be happier to see them.

March 12, 2011

Tsunamis and Devastation Has Got Me Down.

CNN Live just said it: "These natural disasters do seem to be happening much more frequently."

Please view these shocking pictures of the devastation in Japan. I can't help but ask, "what the hell is going on!?" And so many of these natural disasters are happening in impoverished areas, it's just so sad. My heart goes out to the families and individuals affected by the monstrous quake. I wish I had money to donate, but thoughts, prayers, hope, and awareness is the least I can offer for now.